UK court rules to protect DP World deal in Djibouti

Djibouti authorities seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) port from DP World in February of this year. (AFP)
Updated 05 September 2018
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UK court rules to protect DP World deal in Djibouti

  • On Feb. 22, the Djibouti authorities seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) port from DP World, which had been awarded the concession in 2006
  • In the run-up to the seizure, the Djibouti government had already attempted to force DP World to renegotiate the terms of the port concession

LONDON: A court in the UK has ruled in favor of Dubai ports operator DP World over a case involving a disputed shipping terminal in Djibouti.
On Feb. 22, the Djibouti authorities seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) port from DP World, which had been awarded the concession in 2006.
In the run-up to the seizure, the Djibouti government had already attempted to force DP World to renegotiate the terms of the port concession.
But the High Court of England and Wales has granted an injunction restraining Djibouti’s port company, Port de Djibouti S.A. (PDSA), from treating its joint venture shareholders’ agreement with DP World as terminated, according to a Dubai Government statement issued Wednesday.
The court also prohibited PDSA from removing directors of the DCT joint venture company who were appointed by DP World, the statement said.
“PDSA is not to interfere with the management of DCT until further orders of the court or the resolution of the dispute by a London-seated arbitration tribunal,” the Dubai Government statement said.
“The High Court’s order follows the unlawful attempt by PDSA to terminate the joint venture agreement with DP World and the calling of an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on 9 September by PDSA to replace DP World-appointed directors.”
The legal ruling is the third in favor of DP World in the long-running dispute.
In August, Djibouti’s seizure of the Doraleh Container Terminal was ruled illegal by the London Court of International Arbitration.
The ruling will come as a blow to Djibouti and could potentially threaten the country’s ability to attract foreign investment in the future, analysts told Arab News at the time.
The Doraleh port has three berths and an annual capacity of 1.2 million 20-foot equivalent units of container traffic. Under the concession agreement, the Djibouti government had a
67 percent stake while DP World held 33 percent.


Chinese president Xi urges financial risk prevention while seeking stable growth

Updated 23 February 2019
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Chinese president Xi urges financial risk prevention while seeking stable growth

  • China’s economy is growing at its slowest pace in almost 30 years
  • Preventing and resolving financial risks, especially systemic financial risks, is a fundamental task

BEIJING: China should seek stable development of its economy while not forgetting to fend off risks to its financial system, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday.
China’s economy is growing at its slowest pace in almost 30 years, spurring policymakers to bolster growth by easing credit conditions and cutting taxes.
“It is necessary to focus on preventing risks on the basis of steady growth, while strengthening the countercyclical adjustment of fiscal policy and monetary policy and ensuring that the economy operates in a reasonable range,” Xi said.
Preventing and resolving financial risks, especially systemic financial risks, is a fundamental task, the agency cited Xi as telling a study session for senior Communist Party officials on Friday.
On Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang reiterated that China would not resort to “flood-like” stimulus such as it unleashed in past downturns.
But after a spate of weak data, investors are asking if Beijing needs to speed or boost support to reduce the risk of a sharper slowdown.
Until now, China has refrained from cutting benchmark interest rates to spur the slowing economy, which would ease financing costs but risk adding to a mountain of debt.
To free up more funds for lending to small and private businesses, the central bank has cut the reserves that banks need to set aside five times in the past year.
Last month, Chinese banks made the most new loans on record, a total of 3.23 trillion yuan ($481 billion). A central bank official said previously that no credit floodgate had been opened, and the lending jump showed recent easing steps were working.
China’s financial sector must serve the real economy, Xi said, but stable growth and risk prevention must be balanced.