6 May 2004

Nauru receiver says close to selling Sydney hotel

6:29 am on 6 May 2004

The Australian receiver for Nauru's five Australian property assets says the sale of one of the assets is close but comments by Nauruan politicians are not helpful.

Nauru's president, Rene Harris, and the Economic Development Minister, Remy Namaduk, have said they have brokered deals with groups such as Asian property group HCW that could stave off bankruptcy for Nauru.

But receiver Prentice Parberry Barilla says it is running the receivership process and it's cautious about any such deals, which could involve high payments.

Steve Parberry, the co receiver, says he hopes to sell the Mercure Hotel in Sydney, under the receivership, next month, and the remarks don't help.

"It's unhelpful in one regard. The Nauruans themselves had commenced the process of selling the Mercure Hotel on Broadway. And we continued with that process. Now those types of comments coming out of Nauru haven't been helpful to that sale process and I just don't understand the motivation for that."

Steve Parberry says what others have called refinancing proposals are nothing more than indications that people are prepared to look at the issue further.