Iraq\'s Gulf War damages a boost for Hyundai
Iraq is to pay some $30 million to debt-stricken Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. (HEC) under United Nations-arranged war damages, the South Korean company said Monday.
HEC said $29.37 million, which was passed through the South Korean foreign ministry, will help fight its cash flow crisis.
"The money was remitted to HEC's account today," Park Jong-Kil, HEC spokesman, told AFP. "It will help improve the firm's liquidity."
HEC said the money from Iraq was the last installment of $34.38 million that the United Nations had set as compensation for the firm's losses during the 1990 Gulf War.
After the war sparked by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Baghdad was ordered to pay damages to businesses affected by the conflict with part of the proceeds from oil sales. A UN Compensation Commission arranged the compensation.
Before the war, HEC had many construction contracts in the Gulf, including the building of roads in Kuwait and a naval base in Iraq.
HEC, the flagship of the Hyundai group, is now battling to reduce its huge debts to survive. It had an estimated 4.3 trillion won ($3.4 billion) in debt late last year.
It has said it would reduce debts to 3.1 trillion won by the end of this year through asset sales. The firm said early this month it had raised 1.3 trillion won since its debt crisis started last May. HEC was on the verge of bankruptcy before getting a 210 billion won lifeline from creditors last month. — (AFP, Seoul)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)