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Kuwait’s Global, Kamco cut nearly 100 jobs

Kuwait’s Global, Kamco cut nearly 100 jobs

Two of Kuwait's largest investment firms have cut nearly 100 jobs in cost-cutting measures, sources said on Sunday, as they grapple with difficult market conditions.

January 22, 2012 5:37 by

Kuwait’s Global Investment House has laid off 17 percent of its staff, or 60 employees out of 350, across the region as part of cost-cutting measures at the debt-laden firm, two sources said Sunday.

Most of the job cuts at Global, which is in talks to restructure $1.7 billion in debt, will be in Kuwait, one of the sources said.

Meanwhile, Kipco Asset Management Co (KAMCO) has cut 39 positions out of a 120-strong workforce, two sources said. The departures include the head of asset management at the Kuwaiti firm. KAMCO is a unit of the Gulf state’s largest investment company, Kuwait Projects Co..

“The cuts have been pretty much across the board and no particular team or department has been spared,” one source said in reference to KAMCO. “There are some people who left before the redundancy plan.

“Obviously, the market conditions have not been helpful for most investment firms in the region and that has triggered the lay-offs.”

Kuwait is home to a large number of investment firms which were hard hit by the global financial crisis. That prompted the government of the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter to approve a $5 billion rescue package in 2009.

In May, the country’s central bank told investment firms that they need to separate licences to operate their lending and investment businesses as it eliminates regulatory overlap with the market regulator.

A company spokesman at Global declined to comment on Sunday. KAMCO officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Global Investment House had in December agreed with creditors to defer principal repayments on debt until June 10 to allow for a renegotiation of the $1.7 billion debt restructuring plan it agreed in 2009. Evercore Partners advised them on the restructuring process.

At the end of September, Global, which reported a wider third quarter loss, had repaid $232.8 million of the total debt amount. (Reporting by Mirna Sleiman and Dinesh Nair; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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