Razon-led ICTSI pulls out of Syria

Posted at 12/28/12 11:41 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) on Friday said it has pulled out its investment in Syria amid violence in the country affecting business and trade.

ICTSI, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Tartous International Container Terminal jsc, served Tartous Port General Company (TPGC) a Notice of Termination of its Investment Agreement, the Enrique K. Razon, Jr.-led firm said in a disclosure.

"(The company) was compelled to send the said notice... because of TPGC's consistent refusal to recognize the occurrence of unforeseen change of circumstances brought about by civil unrest and violence which has gravely affected businesses and trade in Syria," ICTSI said.

Moreover, the listed firm noted TPGC has refused to renegotiate the agreement and find relief amid the situation in Syria.

"(The company) was left with no choice but to issue the notice... when Syria plunged into a state of full-fledged civil war, which exposed everyone to increasing threat of death and destruction on a daily basis, which is considered as force majeure under the Agreement," ICTSI said.

ICTSI in March 2007 entered into an agreement with TPGC for the management and operations of the Tartous container terminal in Syria. The firm commenced commercial operations in the port on October 2007.

In the nine months to September, a total of 26,661 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) was handled in said port, with revenues reaching $2 million, representing 0.6% of ICTSI's total revenues.

ICTSI said writing off the agreement would cost the firm $1.2 million but it is expected to save an annual $4 million from port fees and cash operating expenses.