* Company hasn't paid installments since start of year
* Aims to restructure remaining installments
* Bank creditors to hold meeting in October
By Tom Arnold and Hadeel Al Sayegh
DUBAI, Sept 29 Dubai-listed conglomerate Gulf
General Investment Co (GGICO) is seeking to
restructure loans linked to a 2.8 billion dirham ($762 million)
debt plan which it agreed four years ago, banking sources told
It is the latest example of a Gulf company requesting more
breathing space on debt as low oil and gas prices weigh on
economies around the region.
The group, which has investments spanning financial
services, property, hospitality, manufacturing and retailing,
began to struggle at the start of 2016 and warned banks soon
afterwards that it would not be able to meet some debt
installments, the sources said. They declined to be named
because talks are not public.
More recently GGICO, 50 percent-owned by the Al Sari family
from the emirate of Sharjah, requested its approximately 27
lenders to help it restructure its debt, the sources said.
GGICO declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
Creditors are set to hold a meeting to discuss the request
in the second week of October, said one of the sources, adding
that banks would consider how to create a new framework for the
Under the original restructuring plan agreed between the
company and creditors in 2012, 2.8 billion dirhams in debt would
be repaid over a six-year schedule.
According to GGICO's financial statements, it was required
to make cumulative debt repayments of 625.13 million dirhams up
to December 31, 2015. According to Reuters calculations, it was
due to pay an additional 764 million dirhams by the end of 2016.
GGICO is now keen to restructure that payment and other
remaining payments due by 2018, the sources said. They said the
company had been facing subdued economic activity and lower
The United Arab Emirates economy has felt the pinch from low
oil prices, with reduced government spending and lower consumer
Several other companies have sought help on their debt
payments in recent months. Abu Dhabi's Al Jaber Group is seeking
a new deal on an existing debt restructuring plan, while Pacific
Controls, a Dubai-based technology company, began talks with
banks during the summer after hitting problems with repayments.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia and Susan Fenton)