North Africa/Middle East

More than 10 private-equity firms including Canadian real-estate firm Brookfield Asset Management have emerged as contenders to buy some or all of the funds managed by Dubai private-equity firm Abraaj Group, according to an email sent to investors reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Thomas Barrack’s Colony Capital Inc. has also re-entered the race after an earlier deal to buy four of Abraaj’s funds fell through after failing to secure sufficient investor support…The Wall Street Journal reported. Interested parties have until Sept.
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Arif Naqvi, the founder of embattled Dubai-based private-equity firm Abraaj Group, and Crescent Group’s Hamid Jafar reached a settlement in a $217 million bounced-check case, Naqvi’s lawyer said two days after a court sentenced him to prison, Bloomberg News reported. The announcement comes after a court in the United Arab Emirates sentenced Naqvi -- who is outside the country -- and another executive, Rafique Lakhani, to three years in jail and ordered them to pay court expenses, according to court documents seen by Bloomberg. The verdict was issued on Aug. 26, the documents show.
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Credit Suisse Group AG plans to buy back about 5.9 billion francs ($6 billion) of debt issued after the financial crisis to the Qatar Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia’s Olayan family to cut funding costs, Bloomberg News reported. The bank will redeem the contingent convertible bonds -- which automatically become equity when reserves fall below pre-set levels -- on Oct. 23, the first opportunity to do so, according to a statement from the bank on Tuesday.
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Investors in a $1.6 billion-Abraaj Group fund said they are owed at least $300 million by the floundering Middle Eastern private equity firm, according to a letter seen by Bloomberg News. They also ask to remove the company as manager. The estimate of what is owed to Private Equity Fund IV by Abraaj is nearly triple the $94.6 million found after a review by Abraaj’s accounting firm Deloitte LLP in June, Bloomberg News reported. The investors are also seeking to stop paying management fees to Abraaj, citing breach of duties to the fund, according to the letter dated Aug.13.
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Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is primed to choose international banks to lend it $11 billion (€9.5 billion), filling the hole left by the delayed listing of state energy group Saudi Aramco and providing financing for crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious economic reforms, The Irish Times reported. The loans will be the first made to the Public Investment Fund, the vehicle used to drive the young prince’s vision for an economy less dependent on oil, which has placed bold bets on electric car maker Tesla, ride-hailing app Uber and space travel company Virgin Galactic.
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Saudi Arabia has called off both the domestic and international stock listing of state oil giant Aramco, billed as the biggest such deal in history, four senior industry sources said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The financial advisors working on the proposed listing have been disbanded, as Saudi Arabia shifts its attention to a proposed acquisition of a “strategic stake” in local petrochemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp, two of the sources said.
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Dubai’s financial services regulator has stopped Abraaj Capital from taking on new business or moving money to Abraaj Investment Management (AIML), its related entity, as part of an investigation into the group, Reuters reported. “Given the onset of financial difficulties of the wider Abraaj Group, the DFSA has been closely monitoring the activities of its regulated entity ACL,” Dubai Financial Services Authority said in a statement on Thursday.
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has found a benefactor to help pull Turkey from the brink of a financial crisis as Qatar promised to invest $15 billion in the country, Bloomberg News reported. The lira extended gains to 6 percent after Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Al Thani made the pledge after a 3-1/2-hour meeting with Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday. It follows a string of urgent steps Erdogan has taken to protect its economy from an escalating feud with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump over an American pastor held in Turkey.
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United Arab Emirates-based energy company Dana Gas reported a 14 percent decrease in second quarter net profit on Tuesday, citing one-off sukuk restructuring costs, Reuters reported. Dana Gas has been at the centre of a long and complex legal dispute with its creditors when last year it halted payments on $700 million in sukuk, or Islamic bonds, saying the instruments had become unlawful in the UAE.
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Creditors of Stanford Marine Group (SMG), which has links to troubled private equity firm Abraaj, are in talks with three potential buyers, sources familiar with the matter say, Reuters reported. Banks are overseeing control of Dubai-based SMG after it failed to meet the terms of its debt obligations due to financial stress linked to a steep fall in chartering rates, the sources said. SMG, which operates offshore supply vessels that service the oil and gas industry, is 51 percent owned by a fund managed by Abraaj.
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