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March 8, 2010

KUWAIT: Aston owner may take up state rescue offer

Kuwait's Investment Dar, which owns 50% of Aston Martin, is considering calling on a US$5.2bn state rescue facility.

Kuwait’s Investment Dar, which owns 50% of Aston Martin, is considering calling on a US$5.2bn state rescue facility.

The Islamic investment firm said in a statement cited by Reuters that the government’s aid package would set the legal framework for its restructuring plan, which has been opposed by some creditors and investors.

Dar said in a statement that it “would not seek financial support in making its repayments but a legal framework to implement its well supported plan.”

Financial problems at Kuwaiti investment firms led the government to approve a rescue package last year, worth $5.2bn.

The rescue package, called the financial stability law, guarantees 50% of loans banks provide to local firms as part of a plan to soften the impact of the global credit crunch.

Credit Suisse is advising Dar on its restructuring plan. In December, the firm said it had reached an agreement with its creditors and investors on a five-year debt restructuring plan. It had said that over 80% of its creditors and investors had accepted its proposed plan.

Dar defaulted on a $100m Islamic debt issue last year and has said it may have to sell some assets to meet its obligations.

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