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Taiwan respects bank's handling of debt dispute with Grenada

2012/06/29 20:36:12

Taipei, June 29 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday that it respects a Taiwanese bank's handling of a debt dispute with Grenada, following a report that the bank has decided to appeal a U.S. court ruling that overturned an earlier order allowing it to take money back from the Caribbean country.

The case is centered around a commercial loan dispute between the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China and the Grenada government, ministry spokesman Steve Hsia said, adding that the ministry was not involved.

"We respect the bank's handling (of the dispute)," he said.

Hsia's remarks came after the Associated Press recently reported that a U.S. court overturned a previous ruling that allowed the Taiwanese bank to claw back some of the roughly US$30 million it says Grenada owes on loans provided for infrastructure projects.

The bank is a government-owned unit established in 1979 to facilitate export and import trade, according to its official website.

After Grenada switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 2005, the bank sued the Caribbean nation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the return of loans granted when the two sides were diplomatic allies, the AP report said.

Paul Summit, a U.S.-based attorney acting on behalf of the Taiwanese bank, said he plans to appeal the court ruling, according to the report.

For the last nine months, Taiwan's Export-Import Bank had been siphoning off money owed to Grenada by airlines and cruise ship companies and holding it in an escrow account, the report said.

But the latest U.S. court ruling "agreed to vacate Taiwan's restraining notices on Grenadian statutory authorities," according to the report.

(By Elaine Hou)