x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Global Investment has suspension extended

Markets Update: Kuwait's Global Investment House has had its shares suspended as losses piled up.

The protracted struggles of Kuwait's Global Investment House took a new turn yesterday after market regulators extended a suspension of trading in its shares.

The extension came as the company's accumulated losses exceeded 75 per cent of its capital, breaching Kuwaiti market rules.

Global had already halted trading last month pending the release of its third-quarter results, but no transactions have been recorded since the results came out, according to Bloomberg News.

The embattled company lost 55.4 million dinars in the first nine months of this year, according to its financial statements, adding to a string of losses last year and in 2009.

Accumulated losses stood at 104.9m dinars at the end of September, according to the statements, or almost 80 per cent of Global's reported shareholder capital of 131.2m dinars.

The suspension follows closely after Global, which only two years ago appeared on track for a gradual recovery after sealing a US$1.7 billion debt restructuring, met lenders in September to request a deferral of payments due this month on its borrowings.

Discussions on a potential renegotiation of the restructuring are continuing, and representatives have been appointed by both Global and its banks to negotiate new repayment terms.

While the company has made strides in paying down debt and cleaning up its balance sheet, it still had almost 500m dinars of borrowings and outstanding bonds as of the end of September, the financial statements said.

Those include a 45m dinar bond on which the company last month said it was seeking a two-month extension until June.

Global is one of a number of Kuwaiti investment firms that fell into financial distress after the global economic crisis cut off funding lifelines.

Its shares last traded on November 14 at 48.5 dinars, down 6.7 per cent for the year.

afitch@thenational.ae

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