23 Jun 2004

Nauru refinancing claim denied

3:37 pm on 23 June 2004

Claims by Nauru's ousted president, Rene Harris, that he had reached a refinancing deal for the country's debts are not true.

The Sydney-based receivers, Prentice Parberry Barillas, says there's been no deal made and they are going ahead with selling off assets owned by the Nauru government trust.

Steve Parberry says one asset, the Mercure hotel, was sold last Friday and that covered almost one third of the debt owed to US firm General Electric Capital Corporation, which stands at 165 million US dollars.

Mr Parberry says as far as they're concerned, the Nauru owners remain insolvent.

"Seems to be little likelihood of any refinancing proposal, and it also seems it could not be economically possible when you've got substantial debts owing for any refinancing to take place. These assets will be put to sale through the receivership over a period of time."

Mr Parberry says they are keen to meet with the new president, Ludwig Scotty, to state their position.

Meanwhile, the new government is currently debating the budget, details of which are expected to be released later today.