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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Galfar Faces Bankruptcy

Last Updated on Friday, 25 December 2009 18:35

Written by Ignatius Stephen
Friday, 25 December 2009 07:43

Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei's biggest bankruptcy since Amedeo Corporation went on the block has been put in motion yesterday with a court action against Galfar Pembinaan & Perusahaan (B) Sdn Bhd, one of Sultanate's largest construction companies.

The first to throw the stone against the troubled company, according to an advertisement in the Borneo Bulletin yesterday, is Freme Travel Agency Sdn Bhd, which has sued Galfar for $97,344.53.

According to Brunei Supreme Court documents, there are 12 other companies given notice to be present at a winding up proceedings against Galfar. They are owed $25 million in total by the once star performer, court records show.

The largest creditor is Bank Islam Brunei Berhad (as is cited in court documents) to which Galfar is indebted to the tune of $15 million. Others besides the second largest, Baiduri Bank Berhad ($7 million), are mainly building material suppliers and other service providers. A firm called BK Global International Bhd is owed $1.8 million and the rest are smaller figures.

The advertisement of Galfar's bankruptcy petition posted in the Borneo Bulletin yesterday by solicitors, Messrs Sankaran Halim, says that Freme Travel's petition against Galfar is directed to be heard on January 30 next year before the Brunei Supreme Court.

Galfar, a leading construction company in the country involved in various large government projects, is basically a joint venture between local and Oman interests.

A search of the official records reveals the local partner is Haji Roney bin Haji Roslee @ Haji Roni bin Haji Rosli who holds 900,000 shares in the company. The rest, 3,000,000, is held by Sheikh Salim Saeed Hamed Al Fannah Al Araimi and the late Mohamed Rashid Al Araimi. They hold 699,999 shares each, records show.

An Indian national who has business interests in Oman, Dr Haji P Mohammed Ali controls 700,002 shares.

The company came to Brunei from Oman well over a decade ago and soon established a name for itself but got into difficulties in recent times until it faced its current problems.

Now the survival of the company is in the courts and in the next move its multiple creditors will make.

The sad state of the company comes in the year that brought with it its full share of calamities both financial and otherwise.-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin.

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