Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Economic woes hits Dubai ratings

Dubai Creek
Dubai has tried to become a regional trade and tourism hub

Standard & Poor's has cut the credit ratings of six Dubai government-backed entities and a leading property firm.

It comes weeks after Dubai's finance ministry sold $10bn (6.9bn) in bonds to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to ease the emirate's liquidity problems.

Dubai is one of seven members of the UAE federation.

S&P said that the worsening world economy could hit sectors vital to the Dubai economy such as trade, tourism and commerce.

S&P analyst Farouk Soussa said the downgrades followed a cut to the in-house sovereign rating S&P has for Dubai, a rating which remains confidential.

The six bodies affected by the one-notch rating cut are DIFC Investments, port operator DP World, Jebel Ali Free Zone and JAFZ Sukuk Islamic financing package, the Dubai Multi Commodities Center Authority and Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group.

Despite the cutback all remain at investment-grade at 'A-' or above.

S&P also cut its long-term corporate credit rating on Dubai property developer Emaar Properties PJSC to 'BBB+' from 'A-'.

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