November 29, 2009 / 8:19 AM / 10 years ago

Dubai World refused distress-asset sale: report

A man does his laundry in the Satwa district behind Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, November 29, 2009. REUTERS/Steve Crisp

DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai World has refused to offload assets at fire-sale prices to repay obligations, forcing it to seek a debt standstill, a newspaper report on Sunday quoted an unnamed source at the government-controlled firm as saying.

Stocks from Tokyo to New York have been haunted by concern that banks were exposed to state companies in Dubai, though world leaders expressed confidence in the global economic recovery on Friday despite the fears.

“The group absolutely refused in the last few months to sell a number of good investment and property assets at low prices,” al-Ittihad newspaper said, quoting a source at Dubai World, the holding company at the center of Dubai’s debt crisis.

Last Wednesday, the government of Dubai asked to delay payment on billions of dollars of debt issued by conglomerate Dubai World and its main property subsidiary Nakheel, as it restructured the Dubai World group.

The restructuring is expected to focus on property and foreign investments which have been worst hit by the economic crisis, the source said.

“Asset sales should be commercially fair to meet the group long-term strategic goals, beyond the immediate economic pressures,” the source added.

Reporting by Rania Oteify; Editing by Thomas Atkins and Clarence Fernandez

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