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UPDATE 1-HSBC supports Dubai debt plan, sees deal
March 30, 2010 / 9:13 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-HSBC supports Dubai debt plan, sees deal

* HSBC welcomes Dubai debt revamp plan

* HSBC sees no obstacles to Dubai deal with creditors (Adds quotes, detail, background)

ABU DHABI, March 30 (Reuters) - HSBC (HSBA.L), one of the largest creditors to Dubai World, put its weight behind a debt restructuring plan put forward by the state-owned conglomerate, saying it expected positive results soon.

“We do welcome it, it is a good way forward. I think it is a decisive action,” Stephen Green, chairman of the banking group, told reporters. The comments come as Dubai prepares to spend up to $9.5 billion restructuring the debt-laden group in a plan to give bank lenders their money back in five to eight years, and to repay two key bonds. [ID:nLDE62O010]

The comments by HSBC officials come as some 97 banks scrutinise the detailed plan and prepare to either accept or reject the deal.

“We are very, very close to having a complete satisfactory outcome. There are no hiccups or roadblocks to the deal,” said Stuart Gulliver, HSBC chairman for Europe and the Middle East.

HSBC was comfortable with the interest rates in the debt proposal, Gulliver said, adding that local and international banks had been treated equally.

“Banks have a choice in choosing the new maturity while rolling over the loans as well as the interest rate that comes with it,” he said without elaborating.

Dubai has competitive advantages as a financial services centre with advanced infrastructure, critical mass and an open trading mentality, said Green, who is meeting with top government officials in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

On Monday he met with the ruler of Dubai.

“(HSBC has) no changes in plans, this is an economy with a very strong future,” Green said. (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; editing by Thomas Atkins and Rupert Winchester)

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