Iraq's Odious Debts

Hyundai Engineering agrees to write off Iraq debt

Digital Chosunilbo (English edition)
December 20, 2005

Hyundai Engineering and Construction will accept a debt write-off proposal and collect only 20 percent of bonds it has been owed by Iraq since the first Gulf War 16 years ago.

In a board meeting on Tuesday, the company decided to accept some US$600 million out of $1.65 billion owed – $331 million in principal and $350 million in outstanding interest. It will notify Iraq of the decision soon.

“The Iraqi government and the International Monetary Fund have proposed paying 20 percent of the unpaid debts back in accordance with a precedent set in the Paris Club,” a company source said. “Considering realities, we decided to accept their proposal.”

With that, the Korean company seems to have opened the way to win orders in reconstruction projects in the war-torn country that are now set to start next year.

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