UAE’s Al Jaber Group close to $1.6bn debt restructuring

Al Jaber’s outlook has been boosted by expected awards of new construction projects in both Abu Dhabi, above, and Dubai. (Reuters)
Updated 01 February 2018

UAE’s Al Jaber Group close to $1.6bn debt restructuring

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group expects to seal a deal to restructure around 5.75 billion dirhams ($1.6 billion) in debt this month, a source at the company and other sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Although the conglomerate, which was founded by the Al-Jaber family in 1970, has struggled since a downturn in construction hit the UAE after the global financial crisis, its outlook for 2018 onwards is positive, the company source told Reuters.
Al Jaber’s outlook has been boosted by expected wins of new construction projects in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
“We have concluded all commercial terms of the new deal and are about to sign with all the banks to receive 100 percent agreement imminently,” the company source said, adding that 97.5 percent of creditors had agreed so far.
Al Jaber’s debt is mostly held by local and international banks, although some hedge funds and other non-bank financial institutions also feature among the creditor group, sources familiar with the matter said.
Since completing a $4.5 billion debt restructuring in June 2014, Al Jaber, best known as a contractor but with interests in other sectors, has taken steps to sell non-core assets, including its 80 percent stake in construction joint venture ALEC to Investment Corporation of Dubai last year.
Such sales have helped to cut debt, with the reduction also boosted by increases in revenue, the sources said.
Under the new plan, the maturity of the debt will be extended by seven years to Sept. 30, 2024, with the company also required to continue to reduce it via quarterly repayments and further asset sales, the sources said.
It also includes a reduction in the interest rate on the debt and the removal of “payment in kind” accrued interest, while quarterly amortization payments will also be cut from March 2019, the company source said.
Al Jaber’s problems started in the mid-2000s when it borrowed to fund its drive to expand outside of its core business of construction.
The weight of the debt and a slowdown in the local market pushed it to begin talks with creditors in 2011. But the 2014 restructuring failed to ease Al Jaber’s troubles and in March 2016 it missed a repayment.
 


China aims for sustained and healthy economic development

Updated 30 October 2020

China aims for sustained and healthy economic development

  • Beijing to let market forces play decisive role in resources allocation, report says

BEIJING: China is targeting sustained and healthy economic development in the five years to 2025, with an emphasis on a higher quality of growth, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, citing the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee.

President Xi Jinping and members of the Central Committee, the largest of the ruling party’s elite decision-making bodies, met behind closed doors from Monday to lay out the 14th five-year plan, a blueprint for economic and social development.

China’s external environment “is getting more complicated,” the agency said, adding, “There is a significant increase in instabilities and uncertainties.”

BACKGROUND

China aims to boost its gross domestic product (GDP) per person to the level of moderately developed countries by 2035, while GDP is due to top 100 trillion yuan ($15 trillion) in 2020.

However, the country’s development was still in a period of important strategic opportunities, despite new challenges, it said.

It added that China aims to boost its gross domestic product (GDP) per person to the level of moderately developed countries by 2035, while GDP is due to top 100 trillion yuan ($15 trillion) in 2020.

China will also deepen reforms and let market forces play a decisive role in resources allocation, the agency said.

China will promote a “dual circulation” model, make self-sufficiency in technology a strategic pillar for development, move to develop and urbanize regions, and combine efforts to expand domestic demand with supply-side reforms, it added.

The “dual circulation” strategy, first proposed by Xi in May, envisages that China’s next phase of development will depend mainly on “domestic circulation” or an internal cycle of production, distribution and consumption, backed by domestic technological innovation.