Manila port operator pulls out of Syria

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01:45 PM December 28th, 2012

By: Paolo G. Montecillo, December 28th, 2012 01:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines–Manila-based International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is pulling out of Syria amid a “full-fledged” civil war that continues to threaten the financial viability of the company’s operations and the safety of its personnel.

In a disclosure on Friday, the company said the decision came following failed negotiations with its Syrian partner for relief “from the clear imbalance of the parties’ economic relationship,” which the company said was a breach of their initial agreement.

As a result, ICTSI’s unit Tartous International Container Terminal jsc (TICT) filed a notice of termination of its investment agreement with Syria’s Tartous Port General Co.

“TICT was left with no choice but to issue the notice of termination when Syria plunged into a state of full-fledged civil war, which exposed everyone—combatants and civilians alike—to increasing threat of death and destruction on a daily basis,” ICTSI told the local bourse.

ICTSI, controlled by businessman Enrique Razon Jr., said it considered the Syrian conflict “force majeure,” which under its agreement with Tartous Port General, was a ground for the revision of the terms of its deal.

TICT’s business in Syria started in 2007, when it signed a 10-year deal with Tartous Port General to manage and operate the Tartous port, located on Syria’s Mediterranean coast. It is the Middle Eastern country’s second-largest cargo hub.

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