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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

July 1, 2009

Qatar investor is "mystery buyer" of Polish yards

Polish Minister of Treasury Aleksander Grad yesterday revealed that the "mystery buyer" of the Gdynia and Szczecin shipyards is Qatari fund Qinvest.

"Qinvest, a Qatari investment fund, is the investor. The deal is guaranteed by the Qatar Islamic Bank. The payment is expected by July 21, which will allow the procedure to be completed," Mr. Grad told reporters in Warsaw.

That ended several weeks of speculation in the Polish media--including one story that declared that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was the buyer.

At the time the sale was announced, Mr. Grad said little more than that it met European Commission requirements for the sale, and that "the assets required by shipyards to maintain their operation were purchased by a single investor, acting through Stichting Particulier Fonds Greenrights on behalf of United International Trust N.V. The investor has declared a will to maintain and continue the construction of marine vessels."

The news that Qatari interests were the buyers came the same day that Poland signed a major LNG import deal with QatarGas.

The 20 year deal will run from, from 2014 to 2034. QatarGas will supply Poland with 1 million tons of LNG annually to a gas terminal in Swinoujscie by means of Q-Flex vessels with a capacity of around 216 thousand cubic meters each.

Any idea that QatarGas would build Q-flex vessels in Poland would seem a stretch.


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