What Will Become Of Dubai's Istithmar World?
The sudden fall of Istithmar World, is one of the shadowiest and most interesting stories going on right now. Bloomberg reports that the Dubai sovereign wealth fund, is halting investments as part of a restructuring effort. The fund has been on one crazy decade-long spending spree of more than $25 billion that include shares in Yacht Haven Grande in the Virgin Islands, Barneys New York, the W Hotel Union Square in New York City and the Queen Elizabeth 2 yacht.
But as Dubai's fortunes have undergone a major shift in the past year or two the load of all those investments has become particularly onerous. One major burden is the CityCenter project in Las Vegas which Istithmar shares with MGM Mirage. Isithmar may end up selling the fund or some of its assets. Some say the fund will cease to exist which could put some of its investments in danger. Rumors of a sale of the Queen Elizabeth 2 and of a possible bankruptcy filing for Barneys have been swirling for weeks. For the most part Dubai tries to keep its financial flailings out of the public eye but that may not be possible this time.