Maiman files for arbitration over Egyptian gas

Ampal is seeking financial compensation for what it terms "Egypt's treaty violations."

Ampal-American Israel Corporation (Nasdaq: AMPL; TASE:AMPL), controlled by Yosef Maiman, today said that it has filed a request for arbitration against the Egyptian government, in connection with Ampal's investment in East Mediterranean Gas (EMG). Ampal holds a 12.5% stake in EMG.

Ampal claims that Egypt is in breach of the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between Egypt and the US. Other EMG investors, including Ampal affiliates and co-investors in EMG, also requested arbitration yesterday under Egypt's BITs with Poland and Germany.

Ampal and fellow investors cited what they termed, "a series of acts and failures by the Egyptian government that have seriously undermined the value of the investors' investments in EMG. The arbitrations initiated by the investors follow lengthy attempts to resolve the dispute through negotiation in accordance with the applicable treaties' consultation clauses in 2011. The treaty arbitrations are in addition to the previously reported arbitration launched by EMG in October 2011 against Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Company under the parties' gas supply and purchase agreement."

EMG says that Egypt has breached its international obligations under investment treaties and failed to provide fair and equitable treatment and full protection and security to investments, impairing investments through unreasonable and discriminatory measures, failing to observe Egypt's obligations toward their investments, and expropriating their investments.

Through the arbitration, EMG seeks "significant monetary compensation for damages caused by Egypt's treaty violations. EMG has been valued in the billions of dollars."

Under the bilateral investment treaty between Egypt and the US, Ampal's arbitration request was submitted to the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Other US entities and a German citizen who invested in EMG have also filed requests for arbitration with ICSID.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on May 3, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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