July 22 (Reuters) - Dubai launched the second tranche of a $20 billion sovereign bond programme, turning to foreign as well as local banks and setting up a fund to support local companies buffetted by the financial crisis.
The Dubai Financial Support Fund will manage the proceeds from the bond programme and provide loans on a commercial basis to government and government-related entities “deemed to be of strategic and development importance to the Emirate of Dubai”.
The fund will be accountable to a five-man Supreme Fiscal Committee (SFC), which has overall responsibility for overseeing Dubai’s fiscal policies, but has kept a low profile since being set up in October 2007.
The SFC will review and approve the loan criteria needed to grant the financial support to entities and projects. It also appraises applications recommended by the fund’s board, and determines the size and terms of each loan and the nature of the related securities and guarantees.
SHAIKH AHMED BIN SAEED AL MAKTOUM, Chairman of the Supreme Fiscal Committee. The charismatic uncle of Dubai’s ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum is better known for leading Emirates airline [EMAIR.UL] since 1985 and turning it into one of the world’s fatest growing airlines with $55 billion-worth of plane orders from both Airbus EAD.PA and Boeing (BA.N). Among his many governmental posts, Shaikh Ahmed is also deputy chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, board director of the the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation Dubai (ICD) and a life vice-president of Chelsea Football Club.
MOHAMMED AL-SHAIBANI, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Fiscal Committee, Widely-deemed to be the man behind the scenes, Shaibani wears many hats. He has come into greater prominence over the last year taking on new positions such as chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank DISB.DU, leading the emirate’s anti-corruption drive and assessing the emirate’s key entities. He heads up the ruler’s court and is chief executive of its sovereign wealth fund. He also sits on the board of Emaar Properties EMAR.DU
OMAR BIN SULAIMAN, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre and Vice-Chairman of the UAE Central Bank. As governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, bin Sulaiman’s mandate is to convince the world the Middle East’s Canaray Wharf can compete on a global stage and become the bridge between east and west. Among his many roles, he is also chairman of DIFC Investments, which holds a 2.2 percent stake in Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE).
AADULRAHMAN AL SALEH, Director General, Dubai Department of Finance. Saleh was appointed in a surprise move on May 18 after his predecessor the popular Nasser al-Shaikh was removed ffrom his post. Saleh was immediately thrown into the limelight as the man to ooversee the $20 billion bond programme aimed at helping government and government-related companies. Saleh has been in Dubai government circles for 20 years and was previously director general of Dubai Customs where he charged with studying the possibility of introducing VAT to Dubai.
ABDUL AZIZ AL-MUHAIRI, Managing Director of the ICD. Muhairi joined Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund after stepping down from his position as chief executive of Dubai Bank in May 2008. With a bachelor of science degree, Muhairi was one of the architects in converting Dubai Bank into an Islamic bank and paving the way for it to become one of the world’s largest Islamic financial institutions within five years.
Compiled by John Irish; editing by Patrick Graham