17 Feb 2005

Nauru says it has cleared its huge debt to American company GEC

3:02 pm on 17 February 2005

Nauru says it has paid off its massive debt to America's General Electric Corporation and wants the Australian receivers to release residual funds owing to Nauru.

The Nauru Finance Minister, David Adeang, says the receivers have more than 78 point five million US dollars in residual funds, of which Nauru expects to receive 63 million US dollars.

Mr Adeang says the Australian-based receivers Prentice Parberry Barilla are holding onto the funds, but Nauru wants its share, so the money can be invested.

"We are of course in talks with them regarding some of the remaining claims on those funds. We hope to have those issues resolved sooner rather than later so that the funds can be put under professional funds management, rather than as it is now. They're not in a position of growth in the hands of PPB, but we would like to put them in such a position."

Mr Adeang says Nauru sent an official to Australia last week to discuss the matter with the receivers and is awaiting a report this week.

He says the issue is expected to be raised in Parliament today.