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Fitch gives Jebel Ali Freezone ‘BBB-’ due to DP World

Jebel Ali Freezone rating upgraded by Fitch Ratings following purchase by DP World.
Jebel Ali Freezone rating upgraded by Fitch Ratings following purchase by DP World.
Jebel Ali Freezone rating upgraded by Fitch Ratings following purchase by DP World.

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Following DP World’s acquisition of the company last year, Fitch Ratings has now upgraded its rating for Jebel Ali Freezone to ‘BBB-’ with stable outlook.

Jebel Ali Freezone now has the same rating as DP World (BBB-/Stable/F3), reflecting Fitch's assessment of strong links between the freezone and its new owner under its parent and subsidiary rating methodology.

Fitch expects the acquisition of the freezone by DP World to be positive for the group's operating efficiency at the Port of Jebel Ali in Dubai.

“DP World’s ownership of Jebel Ali Freezone will enable the group to improve the layout of the port access, allow it to expand its logistic capacity and access to support the ongoing growth of Jebel Ali port and improve integration of the port area with the new Al Maktoum International Airport,” the ratings agency said in a release.

DP World acquired Jebel Ali Freezone’s parent company Economic Zones World (EZW) last year for US $2.6 billion, putting it in control of a freezone that single-handedly accounts for 20% of Dubai’s GDP.

The ratings agency said that the Jebel Ali Free Zone’s location near the Expo 2020 site is likely to generate benefits for both the freezone and its parent company when preparations and development begin.

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