The worldwide economic distress caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has certainly not spared the GCC region. The pandemic has exacerbated the region’s pre-existing economic challenges, many of which date from the prior distresses that occurred ten years ago and were never fully remediated. This has led to a knock-on effect whereby many corporate interests including both debtors and creditors need to consider insolvency and restructuring options in order to mitigate the increasing risks. In recent years, several GCC jurisdictions have enacted new bankruptcy laws which have provided avenues where distressed companies can approach and remediate an insolvency scenario.
These new laws seek to enable a paradigm shift as to how debt should be treated, from that of a “punishment culture” to a “rescue culture”, in line with the practices of other international commercially prominent jurisdictions such as the US and UK. Additionally, these laws provide for a process in which the injection of new capital via strategic investment can be managed, while at the same time claims based on existing debt can be both managed and mitigated, using a set legal process.
A company that previously would face crippling legal challenges in restructuring might take advantage of the formalized bankruptcy framework in order to manage and complete the restructure. Likewise, an entity that cannot successfully be restructured may have an opportunity to liquidate under the newer bankruptcy law provisions, without its management facing penalties from the entities’ unsatisfied obligations. In the following report, BSA’s restructuring and insolvency experts based in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman discuss the new Bankruptcy Laws in these jurisdictions and how the frameworks can assist companies in need of restructuring or liquidation, as well as potential risks and considerations when understanding the restructuring & insolvency process.
Download the full report here: GCC Restructuring & Insolvency Report
Reem Al Habsi, Associate, Oman