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Mon 11 Jun 2012 05:48 PM

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Kuwait's Global gets nod for debt repayment delay

Creditor banks approve delay to November as Global undergoes second restructuring

Kuwait's Global gets nod for debt repayment delay
Shares in Global have not traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange since December, when the bourse suspended the stock.

Kuwait's Global Investment House said on Monday that creditor banks had approved a delay in repayment of principal and interest to November from June, days after bondholders also agreed to extend scheduled payments to later in the year.

The company, which is undergoing its second debt restructuring in three years, also has the option to delay both sets of payments to banks for an additional month to December 10 at the discretion of lenders, a regulatory filing said.

"The consent covers almost the entire conventional and Islamic lending arrangements of the company," it said.

"(It) allows the company and its debt holders to continue their efforts to seek a long term solution to the company's capital structure," it said.

Last week, Global secured approval from bondholders to delay the repayment of bonds worth KD95m ($338.4m) to December from June.

Global, which counts the governments of Kuwait and Dubai as major shareholders, asked bank creditors in September to suspend payments on a $1.7bn plan agreed in 2009.

Shares in Global have not traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange since December, when the bourse suspended the stock after the company's accumulated losses exceeded 75 percent of its capital.

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

Sources said in January 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.

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