UAE sees good investment opportunity in US

The UAE is eager to boost investment in the United States and sees good opportunities as the global financial crisis has cut the price of many companies, Foreign Trade Minister Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi said in an interview. « A lot of these are great companies. There is nothing wrong with these companies… They have good returns, » Lubna said. « There would be no better time than now to actually take stock of some great investment opportunities and acquisitions of companies at a fraction of what they were worth months back, » she said. « Sometimes, people look at these like they are hard times. But for some people it’s an opportunity. » She was echoing comments that Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of the Dubai Government-owned investor Dubai World, made on Thursday. « Today there are things in the market worth a fraction of what they should be worth, » Sulayem said. Dubai World’s assets include Dubai Ports World, which was at the centre of a political firestorm two years ago when US lawmakers discovered the Arab company had acquired US port operations as part of its purchase of British company P&O. To calm the furore, DPW sold the port assets to American International Group, the insurance giant which went to the brink of collapse this year and is now nearly 80 per cent US Government owned. The US Federal Reserve stepped in last month to rescue the insurer with an $85 billion (Dh312bn) credit facility and subsequently provided an additional $37.8 bn. « So, who now actually owns the port operations in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami? Send me an email when you know, » she said with a smile. The UAE has no hard feelings over the controversy, which at least « made us famous », she said. « For us, it was a business deal that went wrong because of the political climate at the time, » she said. Agencies