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Jebel Ali Cuts Interest on $1.2 Billion Loan as Risk Declines

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Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Jebel Ali Free Zone FZE, a business park operator in Dubai, cut the price on a 4.4 billion dirham ($1.2 billion) Islamic loan by 1.25 percentage points, reducing rates after the emirate’s default risk fell.

Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Duty Free, the world’s biggest’ airport retailer, are among companies in the emirate that have lowered rates on their loans. Dubai’s five-year credit default swaps, contract insuring the sheikhdom’s debt against default, plunged 212 basis points to 188, since the beginning of June 2012 as three state-controlled companies repaid or rolled over about $3.75 billion of debt, according to data from CMA.

Jebel Ali’s interest rate on the loan raised last year will fall to 3 percent above the Emirates interbank offered rate starting this month from 4.25 percent, Chairman Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi said in the result’s statement to Nasdaq Dubai today. Dubai Duty Free cut the price on the dollar portion of a $1.75 billion loan by 0.75 percentage point and on the dirham portion by 1 percentage point, a banker familiar with the deal, said in July. Both paid a margin of 3.25 percent.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC, Citigroup Inc., Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, Emirates NBD PJSC, Mashreqbank PSC, Samba Financial Group, Standard Chartered Plc and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC provided Jebel Ali’s eight-year amortizing loan, according to the company’s bond prospectus issued last year.

Jebel Ali’s first-half profit rose 47 percent to 311.3 million dirhams as revenue increased.

To contact the reporters on this story: Arif Sharif in Dubai at asharif2@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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