Dubai May Be as Indebted as South Africa If S&P Proves Right

Determining how much debt Dubai’s government has amassed depends on who’s counting, Bloomberg News reported. What is less in dispute is that the uncertainty comes at a cost. Unlike the government, Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings include Dubai’s local bank borrowings to make the calculation, arriving at an estimate of about 290 billion dirhams ($79 billion). The debt burden could equal 77% of this year’s gross domestic product, according to S&P, comparable with what the International Monetary Fund predicts for South Africa and just behind Oman. However, in the prospectus for its $2 billion bond sale this month, Dubai put its debt at 123.5 billion dirhams, a figure that leaves out what’s owed by the emirate’s government-related entities, or GREs. Read more