Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian conglomerate Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers (AHAB) has begun canvassing creditor support for its bid to become the first company to achieve a settlement under the kingdom’s new bankruptcy law, a senior executive said. Creditors will vote in the first quarter of 2019 on whether they agree to AHAB’s plan to reach a protective settlement under the law, said Simon Charlton, AHAB’s chief restructuring officer, Reuters reported.

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Saad Group and bank creditors of the Saudi Arabian conglomerate have both selected advisers in a bid to try to reach a deal that could help end the kingdom’s largest and longest-running debt dispute, financial sources said on Thursday. The appointments of London-based Orchard Corporate Strategy by Saad and EY by creditors, is the latest attempt to reach an agreement that will be complicated by an ongoing auction of the company’s assets, Reuters reported.

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A Saudi business empire that defaulted on billions in loans during the global financial crisis is trying to settle its debts through the kingdom’s new bankruptcy laws, posing a test for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic modernization efforts, The Wall Street Journal reported. Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers sparked a nearly decadelong dispute in 2009 when the firm defaulted on loans from a range of international and regional banks, leading to accusations of financial impropriety.

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Conglomerate Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers (AHAB) has become the first company to file for a settlement under Saudi Arabia’s new bankruptcy law, seeking to resolve the kingdom’s longest-running and largest debt dispute, Reuters reported. The company hopes the move will help to bring a conclusion to creditor talks that have rumbled on since AHAB and Saad Group defaulted on about $22 billion of debt in 2009. The law, which came into effect in August 2018, is the latest of the kingdom’s reforms aimed at attracting foreign investment and reducing the economy’s dependence on oil.

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One of Saudi Arabia’s major contractors defaulted on almost $2 billion after a falling out among its owners and delays in payments from the government, according to people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg News reported. The Saudi unit of Cyprus-based Joannou & Paraskevaides Group defaulted on about 7 billion riyals ($1.9 billion) in bank loans about two months ago, said the people, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The defaults are largely the result of problems getting paid by the Ministry of Interior, the people said.

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Saudi Arabia will start auctioning real estate assets of billionaire Maan al-Sanea and his company on Dec. 2 to help repay billions of dollars due to creditors, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The auction, originally planned for late October in the city of Khobar in Eastern Province, was delayed by a last-ditch attempt to reach a settlement, which failed to gain enough support from creditors, one source said, Reuters reported.

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The chief executive of oil giant Saudi Aramco said on Tuesday that bankers had not expressed any concerns about a recent rise in Saudi funding costs ahead of the company’s potential acquisition of a stake in petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), Reuters reported. The cost of insuring against a Saudi sovereign default over the next five years touched 100 basis points last week for the first time since June, in a sign of how deeply the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has damaged sentiment toward the kingdom.

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Saudi Arabia’s international bonds are underperforming lower-rated emerging market sovereigns, in a sign of how deeply the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has damaged sentiment toward the kingdom, Reuters reported. Rated A1 by Moody’s, A- by S&P and A+ by Fitch, Saudi Arabia has sold $52 billion in U.S. dollar-denominated bonds since its first international issue in 2016, becoming one of the biggest debt issuers in emerging markets.

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Saudi Arabia's first comprehensive bankruptcy law went into effect last month, one of many reforms to the legal system that economists say may be more important in the long run than high-profile privatizations, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 push to diversify the economy away from oil has grabbed attention for its big-ticket initiatives, such as a $500 billion business zone and a plan, now shelved, to sell part of the state oil firm.
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