North Africa/Middle East

Loss-making Dubai-listed contractor Arabtec Holding has hired advisory firm AlixPartners to help it restructure the company's debt, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, Reuters reported. AlixPartners is assessing the company’s debt profile, before any potential discussions with Arabtec’s creditors, said the sources, declining to be named as the matter is not public. Arabtec did not respond to a query for comment when contacted by Reuters on Thursday. AlixPartners declined to comment.

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Abu Dhabi-based KBBO Group, once one of NMC Health Plc’s biggest shareholders, has hired a turnaround specialist to restructure its $2 billion debt pile, people familiar with the matter said, Bloomberg News reported. The privately-held investment firm with assets in health care and food named Bruno Navarro as its chief restructuring officer, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

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Creditors have started to enforce claims against Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group, in a dispute triggered by a construction downturn in the United Arab Emirates more than a decade ago, Reuters reported. Al Jaber, a contractor with interests across a range of sectors, has struggled since building up debt in the wake of a UAE real estate crisis and began talks with creditors in 2011. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which is working as restructuring and security agent, said in a document dated Sept.

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Philip Day’s retail empire could be broken up after the tycoon launched a review of high street chains including Peacocks and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill following a number of unsolicited offers, the Financial Times reported. Mr Day, who has made a fortune by buying and restructuring distressed retail businesses, has received interest from potential bidders for all or part of value fashion chain Peacocks and his collection of “heritage brands”, which includes Jaeger, Austin Reed and Jacques Vert.

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Determining how much debt Dubai’s government has amassed depends on who’s counting, Bloomberg News reported. What is less in dispute is that the uncertainty comes at a cost. Unlike the government, Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings include Dubai’s local bank borrowings to make the calculation, arriving at an estimate of about 290 billion dirhams ($79 billion). The debt burden could equal 77% of this year’s gross domestic product, according to S&P, comparable with what the International Monetary Fund predicts for South Africa and just behind Oman.

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A French official has said it might be difficult for Lebanon’s banks to prevent savers losing some of their deposits, according to the minutes of a meeting in which France outlined steps to help the crippled banking industry, Reuters reported. The comments were made during Sept. 10 talks in Paris between senior French officials and a delegation from the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL). Reuters reviewed a copy of the minutes, marked confidential.

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An Indian court has issued a second arrest warrant for a marine refuelling tanker owned by troubled UAE oil trader GP Global after it failed to make payments to its ship manager, court documents showed, Reuters reported. On Sept. 10, the High Court of the western Indian state of Gujrat granted the vessel manager’s, Singapore-based Celestial Ship Management Pte Ltd, a request to arrest the GP B3 bunker tanker for unpaid dues, according to the court documents seen by Reuters.

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An Indian court has ordered the seizure of a tanker belonging to Dubai-based oil trading firm GP Global after a petition from UAE lender National Bank of Fujairah over a loan default, a court document showed, Reuters reported. The Gujarat High Court directed the authorities of Pipavav Port on Sept. 9 to seize the company’s bunkering tanker, GP B3, and detain it until a further court order or until the outstanding loan amount of just over $2 million is paid, a court document seen by Reuters shows. The next hearing is on Sept. 17.

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Saudi Binladin Group plans to hire more advisers to accelerate one of the Middle East’s biggest corporate-debt revamps and tackle its estimated $15 billion debt pile, Bloomberg News reported. The kingdom’s top builder reached out to restructuring specialists across the Persian Gulf to assist with reorganizing the business, a spokesman for Jeddah-based SBG said in a text message. The consultants will assist Houlihan Lokey Inc., which was appointed in April to manage the group’s turnaround.

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Lebanon has started a forensic audit of the central bank, the Finance Ministry said on Wednesday, one of the steps donors want to see to help the nation claw its way out of a crippling financial crisis, Reuters reported. The government agreed in July to hire turnaround specialist Alvarez & Marsal to conduct the forensic audit, which typically involves close examination of an institution’s financial records and can potentially identify any misuse of funds.

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