North Africa/Middle East

Indebted real estate developer Nakheel said on Thursday it had secured over 98 percent, or near unanimous, approval for its $10.9 billion debt restructuring plan from banks, Reuters reported. Under Nakheel's restructuring proposal, trade creditors would receive repayment through 40 percent cash and 60 percent in the form of a $1.63 billion Islamic bond, expected by the end of the first half.
Read more
The International Monetary Fund agreed Sunday to lend Egypt $3 billion with few stated conditions to help the country mend its ailing economy, The Wall Street Journal reported. Egypt's finance minister, Samir Radwan, and the deputy director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, Ratna Sahay, at a news conference announced a 1.5% interest rate on the one-year loan, which is to be paid in full within five years.
Read more
Dubai's government says struggling state conglomerate Dubai World has signed a final agreement with creditors to restructure billions of dollars in debt, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on an Associated Press story. The emirate's media office announced the signing of the deal involving about 80 creditors Wednesday. It formalizes a tentative agreement reached last year. Dubai World secured full creditor support for its $24.9 billion debt restructuring plan in October.
Read more
Investment Dar Co., the owner of half of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., said its management and the coordinating committee that represents its creditors agreed to the final details of a restructuring plan, Bloomberg reported. The details of the "long form term-sheet, which sets out the mechanics of the proposed restructuring plan, were agreed" in meeting on March 16, Kuwait-based Investment Dar said in an e-mailed statement Sunday. The plan is under review by a Kuwaiti court, which holds its next hearing on April 7, it said.
Read more
The Justice Department's bankruptcy trustee is protesting Bahrain's Awal Bank BSC's request to withhold from public view amounts owed to creditors and other financial details typically exposed in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported. The objection filed Wednesday puts the bankruptcy trustee at odds with the foreign administrator that Bahraini authorities have appointed to manage Awal's insolvency proceedings around the globe. That administrator has said that withholding specific creditor details is in line with procedures followed in Bahrain.
Read more
Kuwait's Investment Dar, owner of half of luxury carmaker Aston Martin, proposed asset sales of about $1.69 billion over three years to creditors to restructure its debt pile, banking sources said Wednesday, Reuters reported. Dar, as part of a $3.58 billion restructuring plan, will sell its stakes in Kuwait's Boubyan Bank and Bahrain Islamic Bank. The 20 percent Boubyan stake, whose ownership is under dispute, is valued at $752 million while its 40 percent Bahrain Islamic stake is worth around $155 million, based on current market capitalization.
Read more
A bankruptcy judge granted Bahrain's Awal Bank BSC a two-week extension to control its bankruptcy case, setting up a showdown with its only U.S. creditor, HSBC Bank USA, which is seeking to have the Chapter 11 case thrown out, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported. The extension Judge Allan L. Gropper of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan approved Thursday will allow Awal to make its argument to maintain control of its bankruptcy until August at the same hearing that HSBC Holdings PLC's U.S. unit will ask the judge to dismiss the case. That hearing is set for March 1.
Read more
Dubai Group LLC, the investment company seeking payment relief on $6 billion of loans, appointed eight banks to represent creditors in two committees as it tries to speed up agreement on a debt restructuring plan, Bloomberg reported. The committees were set up to bring the restructuring talks to a quicker conclusion, said a spokeswoman for Dubai Group, who declined to be identified because of company policy. The members have been selected to be representative of all lender groups, she said by telephone.
Read more
Drydocks World (DDW), a unit of debt-ridden Dubai World, expects talks on terms of its core debt to be concluded with months, after agreeing a new $200 million credit facility, an official statement said, Reuters reported. The shipbuilding arm of Dubai World said last year it was in talks with banks to restructure $1.7 billion in debt maturing in November 2011.
Read more
There was plenty of Schadenfreude when, in late 2009, Dubai was forced to admit it had trouble paying its debts. The brash emirate’s Gulf neighbours quietly hoped to tempt bankers and business people to their rival financial hubs. Now, irritatingly for many, Dubai is showing signs of recovery, The Economist reported. A $10 billion bail-out by Abu Dhabi staved off the threat of a big default. The emirate returned to the bond markets in September. Although the issue was unrated, it was heavily oversubscribed. So what’s the worry? One concern is how Dubai will meet its future payments.
Read more