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Fri 10 Apr 2015 09:15 AM

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Kuwait's Aayan seeks to reschedule debts worth $587m

Kuwait investment firm hit hard in 2008 crisis has asked creditors to reschedule its remaining debts

Kuwait's Aayan seeks to reschedule debts worth $587m

Kuwait investment firm Aayan Leasing and Investment has asked creditors to reschedule its remaining debts worth 176 million dinars ($587 million), the company's chairman has said.

Like many investment companies in the Gulf Arab state, Aayan was hit hard by 2008 global financial crisis which cut access to funding markets and meant short-term debt used during the boom times to acquire assets such as real estate, private equity and shares could not be refinanced.

This forced Aayan to restructure part of its debt burden, which helped reduce its obligations from 333 million dinars in 2012 to 176 million dinars currently.

The company is now seeking to reschedule the remaining debts, Chairman Fahd Ali al-Ghanim said at the firm's annual general assembly meeting, "after the central bank eased rules - compared with 2012 - allowing repaying debts over an extended period of time". The chairman did not specify which amendments to the central bank regulations he was referring to.

As part of the restructuring plan, Aayan planned to liquidate some of its portfolio of listed Kuwaiti companies, Ghanim said.

However, many of the shares are still trading below the value at which they were bought, Ghanim said, adding this helped to explain why Aayan was seeking a further debt rescheduling.

Despite rebounding slightly in 2013 and 2014, Kuwait's stock market is still trading 60 percent lower than its June 2008 peak.

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