Gulf General Hires HSBC Middle East to Restructure Bank Debts

March 24 (Bloomberg) -- Gulf General Investment Co. (GGICO), a Dubai-based investment company, hired HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. as an adviser to restructure its debts due to banks.

Gulf General’s board decided to “either exit or close down” five loss-making subsidiaries, the company said a statement to the Dubai bourse today. It said 19 of its units are “performing well.”

Gulf General posted a loss of 973 million dirhams in 2010 as the company took impairment charges on real estate and financial investments, it said. The company had a profit of 197 million dirhams in 2009.

Gulf General had its ratings cut one level to B2, the fifth highest non-investment grade, at Moody’s Investors Service March 16. The action was prompted by “increasing risks associated with its sustained refinancing challenges,” and its “inability” to issue long-dated debt, Moody’s said. The ratings were also placed on review for possible downgrade.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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