Dubai Holding, the conglomerate owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in January dissolved the board of Dubai International Capital (DIC), its investment arm, it emerged yesterday. But a spokeswoman for DIC dismissed reports that Sameer al Ansari, its former chairman, had resigned. "There was no question of resignation. The whole board was dissolved," she said.
Last September, Mr al Ansari was appointed chief executive of Shuaa Capital, which is 48 per cent owned by Dubai Holding, but remained as the chairman of DIC for an interim period. A DIC statement said the decision to dissolve the board was taken "to implement a new governance structure. DIC is currently under the direct supervision of Dubai Holding. All subcommittees of the DIC board including investment and audit committees remain in place."
Anand Krishnan remains as the chief executive. A source close to Dubai Holding, who declined to be identified, said there was "nothing extraordinary" in the move. "There are no big plans for DIC any more, so no need for big board decisions," the source said. "The days of bidding for football clubs or big banks are over." DIC was one of the emirate's highest-profile international investors, building up a multibillion-dollar portfolio of investments in: Sony, the Japanese electronics giant; EADS, the parent of the aircraft maker Airbus; and HSBC, the global bank group.
These holdings were sold off in the past 18 months as the financial crisis hit Dubai. DIC was also involved in talks with the English Premier League football club Liverpool in 2007 about a possible takeover for as much as £350 million (Dh1.87 billion) before being outbid. The chief executive of Dubai Holding, Ahmad bin Byat, heads the chain of command that will include DIC. Last month, DIC announced it had won the agreement of its main bankers to delay repayment of about US$2.6bn (Dh9.55bn) of debts until September. The company has a $1.25bn revolving facility repayable on June 27.