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Wednesday, April 05, 2006 

Who Owns Who?

Dubai is very busy. Over the past few months, I keep reading about a string of acquisitions and major investments in Western businesses and real estate. One of its companies, Dubai World Ports*, bought management control 6 US ports through the purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (They have since put those ports up for sale due to a backlash of American public opinion.)

Americans don't want their ports to be operated by the tiny Emirate but it seems they don't seem to have a problem renting their homes from them. 21,000 apartments in the southern states are owned by Dubai Investments.

This same company is also investing heavily into Greece's banking and health sector.

Dubai Investments has bought 31.5% stake in the Marfin Financial Group which is also the largest shareholder in Cyprus Popular Bank and owns 14% of the shares Greece's Egnatia Bank.

Yesterday, the Greek Ygeia Hospital announced that it would buy 25.83% of Mitera Maternity Hospital. 49% of Ygeia is owned by Marfin which now has Dubai Investments as one of its major shareholders.

And we thought the Arab world only had oil.


*Both DP World's official website and a Reuters DP World fact sheet are empty pages. Too many prying eyes perhaps?

ZARDOZ SAYS:

TSSSK,,TSSSK,,

PROBABLY be going to pay a bill
for the power company
and itwill have a logo
of some arabian multinational
group.

Just the same hear about

the NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE

buying into a very big part
of the TURKISH BANKING SYSTEM

SOME 22,3 million euros i think
that on one side they tell
that were spending so many trillions for defense from these guys, and then go and buy in their
state banking system,
mr ARAPOGLOY head of NBG
was hand picked by the prime
minister . WHAT YOU think
of that ms SEAWITCH for local
scandal,,?

== Z ==

I am not sure a comparison between ownership of ports and apartments in southern states is valid. Likely, any dangerous materials would have to pass through the ports first, and it presumes DPW would want to destroy something (apartments and the people therein) they invested in. It is possible, but apparently against interest.

While many Americans were reactionary and, I will say, bigotted in their concerns over the ports acquisition, Dubai does have a dubious record fighting terrorism, and the exact nature of its ownership, indeed of the present level of security measures at the ports, did not seem to be consistent. That uncertainty gave some reason for concern. I acknowledge inconsistency in the fact that other nations have port ownership but don't face as much of a challenge as Dubai did, some or all of which are also what are often called "strategic partners." But I am not sure if equal treatment should come before security; that is if security was ever realy an issue.

My initial view, as if often the cae, is indifference, then it went to support because I saw no cause to be against it, then I became uncertaint as to what all of it entailed and became unsure. I remain that way.

zardoz...If they've got the cash and we've got ailing companies, it will probably happen. As far as the NBG buying into Turkish banking, just think how many Turkish financial papers they'll be able to have a look at. I think that's worth 22.3 million euros.

eff...I wasn't comparing ownership of ports to ownership of rental apartments. It was just a statement of fact to show the extent of Dubai investments.
If they can't control the ports because of security issues...then should they be allowed to invest in telecommunications, scientific and military research/supply companies? Most people just don't know who owns what these days, and if they did, Capitol Hill would have its hands full keeping the protesters at bay.

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