Kuwait investment firm restructures $475m bond

23 July 2012

Several Kuwaiti firms have been forced to reschedule their debts

Kuwait investment firm National Industries Group (NIG) is trying to get investors to give it a four-year extension on the repayment of a $475m sukuk (Islamic bond).

The sukuk is set to mature on 16 August, but NIG, which is part of one of the biggest family conglomerates in Kuwait – the Kharafi Group, is proposing to repay a minimum of 30 per cent of the debt and extend the rest until 2016.

At the same time, NIG is trying to raise KD100m ($356m) in a new three-year loan that is expected to come largely from local banks. Whatever NIG manages to raise for this loan will be used as the repayment of the sukuk.

The company will hold a meeting with investors on 13 August when it holds to get their approval for the plan. The US’ Citigroup and the local Watani Investment Company are acting as advisers to NIG.

NIG’s restructuring is the latest example of a troubled Kuwaiti firm being forced to reschedule its debts. A host of companies including The Investment Dar and Global Investment House were forced to restructure their debts after the financial crisis started in 2008 and led to international funding drying up and a collapse in the value of their assets.

Under the terms of the restructured sukuk NIG will pay a fixed interest rate of 4.5 per cent on the debt, a change in terms from the floating rate set on the debt currently. The interest rate for the last three months was set at just 1.52 per cent. NIG is also proposing to repay a quarter of the outstanding balance every August from 2013.

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