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Qatari investment 'already history'.


Poly Pantelides

THE DEATH knell of a multi-million Qatari investment in Nicosia was sounded in Parliament yesterday after legislators were finally told that Cyprus was thrown a lowball offer for a prime site in the heart of the city.

Cyprus had offered the site -- just opposite Hilton hotel -- for e1/450 million even though the land registry had valued it at e1/4145 million and a private state-appointed land surveyor placed it at e1/4135 million.

The Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company -- wholly owned by the Qatar Investment Authority -- requested that the land be valued at e1/432 million, the House Watchdog Committee was told yesterday.

"The investment is already history," the head of the House Watchdog Committee Georgios Georgiou said.

He said that to his knowledge Cyprus had not responded to the letter.

Last week Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly told the committee that the investment was probably not going ahead.

DIKO deputy Georgios Procopiou said the Qataris wanted to get the land at "a humiliating price." The project is "finished," he said.

An MoU for feasibility studies and land evaluation dates back to November 2008 while a basic framework agreement was signed in May last year.

A number of delays ensued since then and in early March, the Finance Ministry asked Qatar to clarify its intentions.

The response was the letter received last week which a Cypriot delegation -- part of a joint council overseeing the negotiations -- relayed to the House yesterday.

"It seems that another dream of foreign investment in Cyprus will not be realised," EDEK's Fidias Sarikas said.

The deputy for ruling party AKEL Irene Charalambidou said that "despite all that is being saidC* (her) information was that the Emir of Qatar had suggested that Cypriots be given projects, even without tenders, to countries where Qatar is particularly influential".

The luxury project would have involved the construction of a luxury hotel, apartments, shops and offices.

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2012

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Jun 13, 2012
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