Kuwaiti fund and Dubai bank in dispute over frozen assets

Frozen_assetsThe Port Fund, a Kuwaiti investment firm specialising in logistics developments, is pressuring UAE authorities to help unfreeze close to $500 million of its assets which are currently sitting in a bank in Dubai. The dispute began a year ago in November 2017 when the proceeds from an investment in the Philippines due to be distributed to the fund’s shareholders and creditors were instead held in the Noor Bank in Dubai. Allegations of embezzlement against senior executives at the Port Fund led Kuwaiti authorities to request the money be frozen and it has remained in Dubai ever since. The authorities’ position has since softened agreeing that the money can be released provided that two of the state-owned shareholders, the Kuwait Port Authority (KPA) and the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS), are paid first. However, the arrangement has not yet been approved by the Dubai attorney general. The fund has even called on some well-connected figures from the US to help its cause. According to a report from Forbes, Neil Bush, brother of former US president George W Bush, has written to the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, to ask for his assistance. In the letter, written in September, Bush asked that “the closing funds be properly released by Noor Bank” adding that the episode “blemishes the international financial banking system and runs counter to the banking standards that have facilitated meaningful investment from US-based entities to Dubai and the Middle East”. ©2018 funds global mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

Jun 13, 2018

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...

INTERVIEW: Protecting the investment

Nov 23, 2017

Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.


MENA ROUNDTABLE: ‘The story is about reforms’

Jun 13, 2018

Our cross-industry panel discuss the positive backdrop in Egypt, the Dana Gas controversy and the potential index upgrades of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Chaired by George Mitton in Dubai.


Jun 13, 2018

Our panellists tell us that instead of launching competing national projects, African countries should work together for the sake of a bigger capital market. Chaired by George Mitton in Cape Town.