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Global posts first-half loss on investment declines

Global Investment House, a Kuwaiti investment firm, reported a first-half loss of 98.6 million dinars (Dh1.26 billion), blaming declines in the value of investments.

Global Investment House, a Kuwaiti investment firm, reported a first-half loss of 98.6 million dinars (Dh1.26 billion), blaming declines in the value of investments. While severe, the decline was less than in previous quarters. In the final quarter of last year, the company lost 360.5m dinars. Global also said in a statement that losses eased in the second quarter of this year to 29m dinars, after losses of 69.6m dinars in the first.

"Our first-half results continued to be impacted by market turbulence and decline," Maha al Ghunaim, the chairwoman and managing director at Global, said in a statement. "Reassuringly, the pace of decline slowed during the second quarter, which gives us confidence going forwards." Global has been one of the hardest-hit companies in the Gulf during the financial crisis, and was one of the first large businesses to run into serious trouble. The company last December defaulted on a US$200m (Dh734.6m) loan, triggering a series of defaults across its loan portfolio and leading to a sweeping debt restructuring.

Global said yesterday it was "continuing to meet all its debt service payments as they fall due", and was confident a restructuring could be worked out "in the near future". Earlier this year, the firm said it cut 10 per cent of its workforce while reducing salaries and eliminating bonuses. Personnel expenses in the first half of the year were 53 per cent lower than the first half of last year, the company said, although overall operating costs rose because of expenses connected to the restructuring process.

"Although we have not yet concluded the restructuring of our debt obligations, I am convinced that we are up to the challenge and will emerge from this period of market dislocation as a stronger company," Ms al Ghunaim said. afitch@thenational.ae

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