UPDATE 1-Kuwait's Dar says court suspends Boubyan stake sale

Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:40am EDT

* Court suspends sale of Boubyan stake to NBK

* Deal on hold until Dar-CBK dispute settled

(Adds CBK comment, stock performance)

KUWAIT, June 16 (Reuters) - Kuwaiti Islamic finance firm Investment Dar TIDK.KW said on Tuesday that it had won a court ruling to suspend the sale of Commercial Bank of Kuwait's (CBK) (CBKK.KW) stake in Boubyan Bank (BOUK.KW).

Dar, which owns half of British luxury carmaker Aston Martin, is disputing the sale of CBK's stake in Boubyan to the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) (NBKK.KW) for 120 million dinars in a deal that NBK announced on Sunday. [ID:nLF271545]

"The deal (with NBK) is temporarily postponed until the court rules in another lawsuit filed by Investment Dar," a CBK official told Reuters on a condition of anonymity.

Dar filed a complaint last month against CBK over the 19.2 percent stake. Dar sold the stake to CBK in December with the right to buy it back, as it sought financing and to restructure its debt.

However, CBK has since said that Dar and its related firms have lost their right to buy back the stake.

The court has suspended the deal to sell the 220,631,095 shares to NBK until it settles the dispute between CBK and Investment Dar and rules in another lawsuit, for which the hearing is set for Sept. 9, Dar said in a statement on the Kuwait Stock Exchange's website.

Dar said on Sunday that it had filed three lawsuits with the Kuwaiti courts against CBK -- one to stop it from selling Boubyan shares, another demanding that CBK return the shares to Investment Dar, and a third accusing it of "fraud and breach of trust".

Shares of Boubyan Bank fell 3.77 percent on Tuesday, while NBK was down 1.47 percent and CBK fell 1.82 percent. Investment Dar's shares remained suspended by the bourse since April for failing to publish 2008 earnings on time. (Reporting by Rania El Gamal; editing by Karen Foster)

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