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 Dr Ashti Hawrami says 'Eide asked Kurdistan government to buy shares'

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Dr Ashti Hawrami says 'Eide asked Kurdistan government to buy shares'  12.10.2009  





Kurdistan Minister Dr Ashti Hawrami speaks about DNO and Genel Enerji

October 12, 2009


ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Dr Ashti Hawrami, the Minister of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government, comments on the events of the past three weeks and why the success of the Genel Enerji and DNO has been so important to the Region.

Kurdish Oil Minister Ashti Hawrami has claimed that DNO International's managing director Helge Eide personally asked him to buy shares in the Norwegian company.

Hawrami's revelation - which came in an eight-page statement published on the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) site - contradicts Eide's previous statements about the October 2008 share deal.

In October last year, DNO sold 44 million of its own treasury shares to help pay for its operations in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

It later emerged that the KRG helped DNO with the sale, and that the shares later ended up in the hands of Turkey's Genel Enerji.

On Friday, Norway's white collar crime unit, Okokrim, launched a criminal investigation into the matter.

DNO and Eide have claimed that they were not aware that the KRG bought the DNO shares.

This claim was firmly rebuffed by Hawrami in his statement.

"In September [2008], said DNO's managing director [Eide] said to me that they will be selling some shares and asked if the KRG could take them," he said.
                         

Dr Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan Regional Government minister of natural resources


Helge Eide, the DNO International's managing director .The Kurdish Oil Minister has claimed that Eide asked him to buy shares in the Norwegian company.
"I told him I would think about it and that I would consult the prime minister [Nechirvan Barzani]... The prime minister said that up to $50 million is OK, but not more."

Hawrami continued: "Shortly after that [Eide] contacted me and said they had 43 million shares, he was looking for a big premium for these shares which I could not agree to,
www.ekurd.netso we settled for Nkr4 ($0.70) per share."

DNO had earlier claimed in statements to the Oslo Stock Exchange that the deal was a broker-to-broker transaction and it did not know who the buyer was.

It subsequently admitted the shares were bought by the KRG and sold to Genel.

The KRG has consistently claimed that the deal was brokered to ensure that DNO and Genel - which works with DNO in Kurdistan - could continue their operations in the region.

The Oslo Stock Exchange had previously concluded that DNO contravened regulations covering continuous disclosure in relation to the deal. DNO has been fined for these breaches.

Details of the sale were made public by the Oslo Stock Exchange, a move which angered DNO and saw the Kurdish Regional Government suspend DNO's upstream operations in the area for six weeks. The production halt has since been lifted.

Eide was not immediately available for comment.

Read Full Text Click here (PDF, 358KB on KurdNet).
Read Full Text Click here (PDF, 358KB on KRG).

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