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01 March 2024

Global banks are still here: HSBC

By Reuters

HSBC Holdings expects Dubai to meet its upcoming debt obligations this year and said international banks’ appetite to refinance the emirates' liabilities will not be impacted by the euro zone crisis.

Government-related entities in Dubai have bonds worth $3.8 billion maturing in 2012, according to a Moody's report last month. Data from The Royal Bank of Scotland show that the total value of Dubai loans maturing this year are over $5 billion.

"We're not concerned with regards to Dubai's ability to meet its debt obligations, that's not only in the medium term but certainly in the context of this year," Paul Skelton, regional co-head of global banking, Middle East North Africa, at HSBC said in an interview.

"There is sufficient liquidity and sufficient ways at the borrowers' disposal to get things done. International banks are still here and will continue to support Dubai Inc.," he added.

Skelton noted that there will be more refinancing of maturities compared to last year.

"I think it's possible because there is still ability for them to refinance as and when required," he said.

The euro zone debt crisis should not have a big impact on international banks operating in the UAE and other Gulf states.

"It is still in the early stages to see how the euro zone crisis will affect this but clearly in terms of access to liquidity, despite the fact that some European banks are having restrictions, that will not impact Dubai's ability to refinance," Skelton said.