Kuwait's Global to get bond repayment delay approval - sources

Deferral comes as investment firm undergoes second debt restructuring in three years
Kuwait's Global to get bond repayment delay approval - sources
Global said it would meet holders of bonds worth KWD50m and KWD45m on June 7.
By Reuters
Tue 05 Jun 2012 02:24 PM

Kuwait's Global Investment House is expected to receive approval on Thursday to delay the repayment of bonds worth KWD95m (US$338.6m) to November from June, two sources familiar with the matter said.

"Bondholders have verbally agreed to the extension. The Thursday meeting will make it official," one banker, who asked not to be named, said.

Global, which counts the governments of Kuwait and Dubai as major shareholders, said it would meet holders of bonds worth KWD50m and KWD45m on June 7 in "continuation of its debt restructuring discussions and negotiations," according to a May 28 filing to the London stock exchange.

If agreed, it would be the second time holders of the KWD45m paper have agreed an extension, having initially pushed out repayment to June from April.

This deferral comes as the Kuwaiti investment firm undergoes its second debt restructuring in three years.

Global said in May that it would ask bank creditors to further extend a deadline for repaying debt to November from June as part of a restructuring proposal it plans to submit soon, without specifying the total value of the debt being restructured.

In September last year, it asked bank creditors to delay principal repayments on debt due in December as part of a move to renegotiate a US$1.7bn restructuring agreement signed in 2009.

The company made a loss of KWD11m in the first three months of 2012, versus a KWD22m loss for the same period last year.

Like other Kuwaiti investment houses, the global financial crisis in 2008 hit Global's portfolio hard.

Sources said in January that Global had laid off 17 percent of its staff, or 60 employees out of 350, across the Gulf region as part of cost-cutting measures.

Shares in Global have not traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange since December after the bourse suspended the stock for having accumulated losses which exceeded 75 percent of its capital.

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