Thursday, November 26, 2009

Could Dubai be the spark for a correction?

In my last post I indicated that the US Dollar was poised to rally because of excessive bearish sentiment. Many market analysts had opined that the stage was set for a USD rally but any USD reversal needed a spark such as a geopolitical event.

We may have seen that spark. The world awoke this morning to the surprise news of the potential default by Dubai World.

As FT Alphaville puts it [emphasis mine]:

Dubai’s government stunned the debt markets on Wednesday by asking for a 6-month standstill on the debts of its flagship holding company Dubai World.

The shock move came just hours after the Government of Dubai raised $5bn via a bond issue, the proceeds of which traders had rather naively assumed would be used to pay back a loan issued by Nakheel, Dubai World’s property arm.

This may seem like a stupid and naïve question, but how can someone ask for a debt standstill just hours after raising a bond issue without some disclosure in the prospectus document?

Overnight the markets have moved from euphoria over the prospect of a V-shaped recovery to the despair over a potential sovereign default. Get ready for Extremistan.

No comments: