A Saad Group subsidiary says it is unable to make payments on a US$650 million (Dh2.38 billion) Islamic bond maturing in 2012, The National reported. Saad Trading, Contracting and Financial Services, part of the struggling family-owned conglomerate based in Saudi Arabia, said yesterday it was “impossible for the issuer to perform its payment obligations under the sukuk”. It made the disclosure in a statement to the Bahrain Stock Exchange, where the Golden Belt 1 sukuk is listed. The default comes as the Saad Group, founded by Maan al Sanea, slogs through a tangle of legal and financial difficulties. Authorities in Saudi Arabia froze its assets this summer and a court in the Cayman Islands, where many Saad Group subsidiaries are incorporated, froze an additional $10bn of assets this year. Last week, an Abu Dhabi court placed assets of the Saad Group and Saad Trading in the UAE under its protection, citing unpaid debts with an unnamed bank in the emirate. Read more.