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Saad Group promises to pay banks

Riyadh, April 21, 2010

Indebted Saudi conglomerate Saad Group on Wednesday promised to repay the billions of dollars it owes but did not specify when, and said that it had not reached any agreement with banks.

Reuters Loan Pricing Corp data shows two syndicated loans worth a total of about $5.5 billion are due in 2012. Bankers have said the total owed by Saad is higher, and expect writedowns to affect 120 banks.

Maan Al Zayer, chief financial officer of Saad Group, did not say how much Saad owed, but he told reporters that lenders to another Saudi group, Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Bros Co (AHAB), would also be repaid.

Algosaibi claims Saad owes it money, and puts its own total debts at $9.2 billion. Both groups are seeking to restructure their debt and face disputes inside and outside Saudi Arabia.

"Banks will be able to get their money back from both Algosaibi and Saad in due course," Al Zayer said. He added that there has been no agreement with banks over debt restructuring.

An Algosaibi spokesman welcomed the announcement. "As the Algosaibis have said, it is entirely appropriate for (Saad Group head) Maan Al Sanea or the Saad group (to) repay the creditors all monies owed from this matter. We look forward to seeing their proposals to solve this problem."    

Al Zayer said he favoured using Saudi Arabia's judicial system to settle the disputes, which have spilled over into other jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands and the United States. - Reuters




Tags: Saudi | Restructure | Saad Group | Algosaibi | AHAB |

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