Kuwait bank freezes $152m in Global deposits

Kuwait's GIH wants local bank to release deposits, frozen over loan dispute.
Kuwait bank freezes $152m in Global deposits
By Rania El Gamal
Mon 02 Mar 2009 02:14 PM

Kuwait's Global Investment House is in talks with a local bank to have it release 45 million dinars ($152.5 million) in deposits frozen by the bank over a loan dispute, a company source said on Monday.The Kuwaiti investment bank had managed to negotiate with the unidentified bank to release 15 million dinars of the deposits, said a Global spokesman, who asked not to be named.

The spokesman said the deposit held funds of Global clients related to a Saudi investment.

But the bank froze the deposits due to a dispute of a loan, he added, declining to give further details.

"We were able to get 15 million back and are working to get the rest," the spokesman said.

Global said last month it had defaulted on most of its debts as investment firms in Kuwait suffer from the global financial crisis.

At the end of 2008, Global had total liabilities of $3.1 billion after defaulting on a $200-million loan in mid-December, executive vice-president Bader Al Sumait told Al Arabiya television last month.

In December, Global said it had appointed HSBC and Kuwait's CBK Capital to hold talks with creditors to reschedule debt.

Kuwait last month unveiled a 1.5 billion dinar economic support package that includes state guarantees on fresh loans extended by banks to help struggling investment firms. The plan still requires parliamentary approval. (Reuters)

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