Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Court extends Kuwaiti's assets freeze

A US court has extended a temporary freeze on the assets of a Kuwaiti businessman who was found dead two weeks ago.

A US court has extended a temporary freeze on the assets of a Kuwaiti businessman who was found dead two weeks ago after being accused of planting false stories about takeovers of US companies. A US district court judge in New York has granted a revised asset freeze against Hazem Khalid al Braikan, who was found dead in an apparent suicide at his home in Kuwait last month. Mr al Braikan died just days after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed the stock-promotion suit against him but the case is continuing despite his death.

Also named in the asset freeze order were: KAMCO, a Kuwaiti asset management firm; United Gulf Bank, a lender based in Bahrain; and Al Raya Investment, the Kuwaiti firm for which Mr al Braikan was chief executive. KAMCO and United Gulf Bank were alleged to have taken part in the scheme but have since said they acted only as conduits for trades made by clients. The allegations against Mr al Braikan and the financial firms stem from a pair of hoax stories planted about acquisitions of US companies by Gulf investors.

In April, a story appeared in a Kuwaiti newspaper saying a group of companies from the UAE and Kuwait were planning to buy Textron, a publicly traded aircraft and defence conglomerate, for $21 a share, or more than double its price at the time. And last month, a press release was distributed claiming private Saudi investors planned to buy Harman International, a maker of high-end audio equipment, for $49.50 a share when it was trading about $25.

The stories caused the stock prices of Textron and Harman to rise, leading to large profits for Mr al Braikan and the other defendants, the SEC alleged. Both stories turned out to be false. Printing and trading on such false information is illegal in the US. The asset freeze order names accounts held by Mr al Braikan and Al Raya at Citigroup Global Markets and DLJ Pershing, a US investment bank. It also names United Gulf Bank accounts at Citigroup Global Markets and State Street Bank and Trust.

The court ordered that State Street "prohibit the withdrawl, removal, transfer or other disposal of cash totalling US$13.3 million (Dh48.8m), representing the value of proceeds from the transactions in Textron securities and transactions in Harman securities, and options executed on behalf of KAMCO clients". @Email:afitch@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 An air traffic control tower is seen at the central terminal of LaGuardia Airport on April 8, 2014. Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

In pictures: New York’s LaGuardia Airport in need of a rebuild

With constraints on its resources and no appetite for further debt, private investors and developers are being tapped to rebuild the 50-year-old central terminal for $3.6 billion, instead of using traditional public finance methods.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 An Uber taxi driver drives his car through a street in New Delhi, India. Saurabh Das / AP Photo

In pictures: On-demand cab service app Uber targets India

Taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia with the company starting operations in 18 cities in Asia and the South Pacific including Seoul, Shanghai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and five Indian cities in the last year.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National