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Mon 16 Jul 2012 03:45 PM

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Bahrain's GFH restructures $45m in debt

Cash is part of US$100m wakala-structured facility led by Liquidity Management Centre

Bahrain's GFH restructures $45m in debt
Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House (GFH) said on Monday it has restructured US$45m in debt which it will pay back over the next six years.

Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House (GFH) said on Monday it has restructured US$45m in debt which it will pay back over the next six years.

The cash is part of a US$100m wakala-structured facility, compliant with Islamic law, that is led by the Bahrain-based Liquidity Management Centre (LMC), GFH said in a statement.

It is the second time that GFH has restructured the facility. In March 2010, ahead of a US$50m repayment, the firm said it had scheduled payments so US$20m was paid immediately and the remainder in equal half-yearly instalments until 2012.

"GFH has already paid US$55m of the total amount in the past and now has restructured the remainder," it said in the statement.

Under the restructuring terms, GFH gets a two-year grace period for 2012 and 2013, meaning repayment will start in 2014, with the final instalment due in September 2018, it said.

Under a wakala structure, certificates are issued through a special purpose vehicle which purchases specific assets which are then given to an agent, usually the originator, to manage.

Institutions involved in the facility include Emirates NBD's Islamic unit, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Liquidity Management Centre and Liquidity Management House, it said.

The bank was repeatedly forced into restructuring obligations in 2010 as the firm struggled with its debt burden in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

In May, GFH obtained approval to restructure a US$110m Islamic bond, also extending repayment for six years.

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