Let us get the arguments against transparency in Dubai World affairs out of the way quickly. Dubai World is not a quoted company, therefore has no obligation to be transparent at all; there is only one shareholder that matters, the Government of Dubai, and you can be sure that it is kept fully up to speed. Moreover, the current negotiations concern private and confidential matters between bankers and their client. Who would be happy if their bank manager went around briefing the press on the details of their bank account?
Nevertheless, the calls for greater transparency in Dubai World affairs by Lord Mandelson and the deputy secretary of the US Treasury, Neal Wolin, are timely and appropriate. Rarely have the affairs of a private company had so many repercussions for stakeholders worldwide. We saw another example of Dubai World's global reach recently. International financial markets reacted negatively to a report that Dubai World was considering offering creditors a 40 per cent "haircut" on their loans.
With US$22 billion (Dh80.8bn) at stake in 94 banks, that is a market-moving amount by anybody's standards. British banks feature prominently among the creditors, so Lord Mandelson, whose government is a major shareholder in them, has every right to know what is going on. Mr Wolin is a member of a US administration that has made Middle East stability, political or economic, a top priority, so he too should not be kept in the dark.
Most of all, Dubai World should open up because for years it has been the mantra of Dubai authorities that they should abide by international best practice. In business, that means levelling with your partners. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org