Maldives defies stay on GMR deal scrapping

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Male
  • |
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2012 00:39 IST

The Maldives government will continue its takeover of GMR Group’s airport project despite the Singapore Supreme Court granting a stay on the cancellation of the $511 million (about Rs. 2,800 crore) contract.

“We will continue with the airport takeover and inshallah next Saturday onwards, MACL (state-controlled Maldives Airport Company Ltd) will be running the airport,” Reuters quoted Mohamed Nazim, defence minister and acting transport minister, as saying in Male.

On the Maldives government’s instructions, MACL terminated the contract on November 27, rattling Delhi.

New Delhi warned that it would "take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of its interests and its nationals in the Maldives."

The ambitious project of GMR, which runs airports in Delhi, Hyderabad and Istanbul and controls the Delhi Daredevils IPL team, has come become a matter of domestic compulsion in the Maldives, where elections are scheduled next year.

As per the concession agreement between GMR and the Maldives government, in case of any differences between parties, the law of either Singapore or the UK would apply.

"The Singapore HC upon hearing both the parties was pleased to grant this stay in favour of GMR Male International Airport Private Limited (GMIAL). Both MACL and the ministry of finance and treasury are not allowed to interfere with the rights of the investor (GMR-MAHB consortium) under the concession agreement," GMR said in a statement. "With this, GMIAL shall continue to operate the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) as usual as per the provisions of the concession agreement."

GMIAL is a JV between GMR Infrastructure Limited (77%) and Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) (23%). In 2010, GMIAL won the right to build and operate the INIA for 25 years, which is extendable by an additional 10 years.

Shares of GIL closed up 5.36% at Rs. 19.65 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.


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