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Sat 13 Mar 2010 05:59 PM

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Kuwait Dar seeks govt support, debt revamp

Kuwaiti investment firms seeks support under $5.2bn state facility.

Kuwait Dar seeks govt support, debt revamp
KUWAIT FIRM: Investment Dar owns half of British carmaker Aston Martin. (Getty Images)

Kuwait's Investment Dar, which owns half of British carmaker Aston Martin, is applying for support under a government facility set up for troubled companies as part of a debt restructuring.

Problems at Kuwaiti investment firms, including Dar, led the government of the world's fourth-largest oil exporter to approve a "Financial Stability Law" rescue package worth $5.2 billion last year.

"Investment Dar announces today that it has started a process of legal protection under the terms of Kuwait's Financial Stability Law (FSL)," the Islamic investment firm said on its website.

"Although the terms of the proposed restructuring plan have been approved by more than 80 percent of Investment Dar's banks and investors, a small minority of investors have continued to resist supporting the plan," it said, adding that the restructuring foresaw a full repayment to creditors.

Dar had said it was seeking to borrow up to $1 billion to refinance its debt.

The facility would guarantee 50 percent of fresh loans banks provide to local firms as part of a plan to soften the impact of the global credit crunch.

In December, the firm said it had reached an agreement with its creditors and investors on a five-year debt restructuring plan, which it said was accepted by more than 80 percent of the creditors and investors.

Trading in Dar shares has been suspended since April, after the firm failed to submit its 2008 financial records on time.

Credit Suisse is advising Dar on the restructuring plan.

Dar defaulted on a $100 million Islamic debt issue last year -- the first of its kind on a major, public Islamic instrument in the region -- and has said it may sell some assets to meet its obligations.

In September, Kuwait's central bank appointed a temporary supervisor to monitor debt restructuring and the compilation of financial results at Dar. (Reuters)

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