UAE’s Dana Gas agrees with creditors on $700 mln sukuk restructuring

Updated 13 May 2018
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UAE’s Dana Gas agrees with creditors on $700 mln sukuk restructuring

DUBAI: Energy producer Dana Gas reached agreement with creditors on restructuring $700 million of sukuk, the firm said on Sunday, potentially ending a protracted legal battle that unsettled the global Islamic finance industry.
The United Arab Emirates firm said in June it would not redeem the Islamic bonds, arguing that changes in Islamic financial practice since they were issued made them invalid under UAE law. This led to months of negotiations and a fight in UAE and British courts.
Under the deal with the sukuk holders’ committee, investors who want to exit the instruments will be able to do so at 90.5 cents on the dollar, which includes a bonus of 2.5 cents if they accept within seven days of the start of the tender offer.
Alternatively, investors will be able to exchange the sukuk into new three-year Islamic instruments with a 4 percent profit rate, while receiving final profit payments that they were owed before the old sukuk matured last Oct. 31.
“The consensual transaction represents a means to resolve amicably all current issues and disputes facing the parties,” Dana said in a statement.
The company said it expected to launch the tender offer this month and complete the deal by the first half of July — though this depended on conditions including payment of costs of certain parties, termination of all current litigation, and the release of certain claims being met.
Holders representing over 52 percent of $350 million of sukuk that were convertible into equity, and over 30 percent of $350 million of non-convertible sukuk, agreed to take no further action before the tender offer, Dana said.
Its shares jumped 4.8 percent in early trade on Sunday in response to news of the deal, which it said could cut its debt by up to $385 million.


UK shoppers rein in spending as Brexit nears

Updated 24 min 53 sec ago
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UK shoppers rein in spending as Brexit nears

  • Retail sales volumes fell 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter after a 0.2 percent rise in the three months to November
  • Businesses are also cutting investment before Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU in late March

LONDON: British shoppers cut back on spending in the three months to December for the first time since last spring, adding to evidence of a consumer slowdown as Brexit approaches, data showed on Friday.
Retail sales volumes fell 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter after a 0.2 percent rise in the three months to November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Friday’s data chimed with other signs that consumer spending is cooling after a strong summer.
Businesses are also cutting investment before Britain’s scheduled departure from the European Union in late March, leaving the overall economy growing at a snail’s pace.
In December alone, retail sales fell 0.9 percent, recoiling after November’s Black Friday splurges, but were 3.0 percent higher than a year earlier. Both readings were below economists’ forecasts in a Reuters poll.
“A major concern for retailers will be that already cautious consumers further limit their spending in the near term at least due to the heightened uncertainties over Brexit,” economist Howard Archer from the EY ITEM Club consultancy said.
Sterling and British government bonds were little changed after the data.
The ONS said the value of sales fell for the first time in three years in the three months to December, underlining a squeeze on retailers’ profit margins as they battle for customers.
A survey last week from the British Retail Consortium showed retailers failed to increase Christmas sales for the first time since the depths of the global financial crisis a decade ago.
Supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Morrison missed Christmas sales forecasts though Tesco beat them. Clothing retailer Next and department store John Lewis reported a late surge in demand.
The ONS data showed a drop in sales of carpets and floor coverings, possibly reflecting a stalling housing market.
While disarray over Brexit has weighed on consumer confidence, there has been some comfort for households recently with the fastest underlying pay growth since 2008 and inflation falling to an almost two-year low of 2.1 percent.
Highlighting the easing of inflation pressures, the ONS’s measure of annual price increases in stores cooled to 0.6 percent in December from 1.3 percent in November, the smallest uptick in more than two years.