GFH trying to raise funds

Gulf Finance House (GFH) has been trying to raise cash, sources said, in case it has to repay $300 million (Dh1.1 billion) in debt it is trying to refinance before it falls due next week.

GFH said yesterday it had met German bank WestLB, a lead arranger for the loan maturing on February 10, to discuss terms, but sources said it had also approached private investors in recent days to raise loans, pledging real estate and other assets as collateral.

Bahrain's bourse suspended GFH's shares as it awaited more information from the firm, while on the Kuwaiti bourse, where trade continued, its shares fell 4.7 per cent. Investors have been concerned about GFH's need for short-term funding since Standard & Poor's sounded the alarm with a credit ratings downgrade last month, following another downgrade in November.

"Everyone knows they have to raise cash, the question is what price can they get from their assets," said a source familiar with Gulf Finance House.

 

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