Kuwait's Gulfinvest told to liquidate assets

Gulfinvest International, dropped from the list of investment firms in Kuwait, was asked by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to liquidate its assets, a local paper said on Thursday citing sources.

Arabic newspaper Al Rai said the ministry asked the company to hold an ordinary annual general meeting for 2009, and an extraordinary meeting for 2010 within the next two weeks, citing sources that it did not identify.

"The shareholders will be asked to take the liquidation procedures, based on the Ministry of Finance's decision in this regard," said the sources.

Earlier this month, the company said it received initial approval for its debts restructuring plan.
The Ministry of Finance will take its decision to court if shareholders do not sign on to the plan, the sources added.

Gulfinvest said in response that it will hold the annual general meetings the ministry asked for, yet will appeal to court in order to revoke the ministry's decision.

Last year, Gulfinvest defaulted on a Dh200 million ($54.47 million) loan from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank for which investment bank Shuaa Capital was a guarantor. 

Kuwaiti investment houses were hard hit by the financial crisis, which prompted the government of the world's fourth-largest oil exporter to approve a $5 billion rescue package in 2009.

Trading in Gulfinvest's shares on the Kuwaiti bourse was halted since April 2010, after the firm submitted its financial results.

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