RBS Led Dubai World Lenders; HSBC Most at Risk in UAE


Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) — Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was the biggest underwriter of loans to Dubai World, the state company seeking to reschedule debt, while HSBC Holdings Plc has the most at risk in the United Arab Emirates, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

RBS, the largest U.K. government-controlled bank, arranged $2.3 billion, or 17 percent, of Dubai World loans since January 2007, JPMorgan said in a report today, citing Dealogic data. HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, has the “largest absolute exposure” in the U.A.E. with $17 billion of loans in 2008, JPMorgan said, citing the Emirates Banks Association. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC may be owed $1.9 billion by Dubai World, making it the largest creditor outside the emirate, said two people familiar with the companies.

“The market is very nervous about exposure to Dubai and RBS’s name has been associated with it as both a lender and a book runner,” said David Williams, a banks analyst at Fox-Pitt Kelton Ltd. in London. “People are concerned it’s going to produce a new wave of losses. Dubai is driving everything in the market at the moment.”

Dubai World, controlled by the emirate’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, borrowed from more than 70 lenders to buy assets ranging from stakes in Las Vegas casino company MGM Mirage to London-based Standard Chartered Plc through Istithmar PJSC. The government said this week it will seek a “standstill” agreement to delay repayment of its debt, including $3.52 billion of bonds due Dec. 14 from property unit Nakheel PJSC.

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