Dubai World eyes up bargains

Dubai World is eyeing once-in-a-lifetime bargains across the globe stemming from the financial crisis and remained bullish on its home market. Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said yesterday Dubai World, whose businesses range from shipping to real estate, saw opportunities that his firm “could never take advantage of again”. “Today there are things in the market worth a fraction of what they should be worth,” he said without specifying what sectors the firm was looking at. Gulf investors, including sovereign wealth funds, have indicated a willingness to buy into foreign assets, whose valuations have dropped drastically in the second half of the year, although many have said they would wait until the market bottoms. Sulayem, whose firm owns the world’s fourth-largest port operator DP World and is a stakeholder in MGM Miragek, said he expected the global financial crisis to bypass the Gulf. “So will the crisis be here in two years? No way,” he said, adding that Gulf economies were less affected than other regions by the turmoil. Dubai World is the holding company of Nakheel and Limitless, which in September dropped plans to buy British property firm Minerva. Nakheel said earlier this month that it had no need for external financing until 2010, but may scale back its huge land reclamation projects to curb costs and protect profits. “None of the projects we are building or have sold have been cancelled,” Sulayem said at a monthly bankers’ meeting. Sulayem reiterated the company had no problems financing projects Staff Writer