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Tue 18 Sep 2012 11:56 AM

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Dana Gas shareholder optimistic about $920m sukuk repayment

Crescent Petroleum owns 20.1 percent of Dana Gas, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Dana Gas shareholder optimistic about $920m sukuk repayment

Crescent Petroleum, a key shareholder in Dana Gas, is optimistic that the Sharjah-based natural gas producer can meet repayment of its $920 million convertible Islamic bond in October, Crescent's president said on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi-listed Dana is also in talks with the Government of Egypt to recover delayed receivables from its operations in the North African country, Badr Jafar, Crescent's president, told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Dubai.

"As a shareholder... I believe there are discussions ongoing with the ministry for scheduled payments to recover the receivables," Jafar told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Dubai.

"I'm optimistic and have a lot of faith in the professionalism and savvy of the management and board to reach a comfortable resolution with the bondholders and investors alike," he added.

Dana was owed 729 million dirhams ($198.5 million) in Egypt as at June 30, 2012, according to its half-year results. They received 431 million dirhams from Egypt during the first six months of the year.

Crescent owns 20.1 percent of Dana Gas, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Dana, which owns a 3-percent stake in Hungarian group MOL , has so far provided no details on how it plans to meet the upcoming Islamic bond maturity.

The natural gas producer had appointed Blackstone Group and Deutsche Bank as advisers to help it weigh options for the sukuk and said it was committed to finding a consensual solution.

Dana started facing problems last year after anti-government protests in countries such as Egypt led to payment delays from government entities. It has also faced payment issues in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The company had cash balance of 601 million dirhams as of June 30, 2012, it said in August.

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