Polish shipyard sale pending:Qatari investment bank

DOHA: Qatar's largest investment bank denied on Saturday that it had bought two Polish shipyards, explaining that it was acting as an advisor to a potential buyer in a deal that has still not been completed.

On Tuesday, Polish Treasury Minister Aleksander Grad said the Gdynia and Szczecin shipyards had been sold last month and that the buyer was Qinvest, which he described as a Qatar investment fund.

QInvest's statement said on Saturday that it is a "full service investment bank, not an investment fund."

"QInvest is acting as an advisor for clients who are in the process of acquiring these assets. The names of these clients cannot be disclosed due to confidentiality reasons. The transaction is currently at the due diligence stage and pending completion."

The two shipyards, on Poland's northern Baltic coast, hold particular significance for many Poles as the cradle of protests against the former communist regime.

The European Commission had ordered Poland to sell its shipyards after ruling that Warsaw had doled out illegal state aid to keep them in business.

The issue of a third shipyard in Gdynia's neighbouring port of Gdansk is being handled separately by Brussels, which has yet to give its verdict on a restructuring plan there.