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6TH JUNE 2002


First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to HSBC for inviting me to be the guest of honour for todayís ceremony. It is indeed a great pleasure for me to be here and it is also a great honour to be given this golden opportunity to say a few words at this occasion.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The signing of the long term financing arrangement is indeed one of the key milestones of the BGCís shipbuilding project. In many ways this also heralded a historical moment for the development of international financing in Brunei Darussalam. The signing of this financial arrangement is quite timely as it is taking place when Brunei Darussalam is in the midst of a concerted drive toward establishing herself as an International Finance Centre.

This project has given support towards reaching Brunei Darussalamís goals in establishing and strengthening its International Financial Centre which among others aims to help diversify, expand into and grow the value added financial service sector of the economy of Brunei and the Asia Pacific Region as well as providing a secure, cost-effective, sensibly regulated IFC facility, which will offer a safe harbour for the conduct of significant regional and international business for corporate and private clients. This project by all accounts has managed to fulfill all the wishes and visions of the IFC.

The amount involved in this long term financing is very significant and should rank as one of the largest, if not the largest single non-government civil project financing scheme in the country so far this year. Indeed for a commercial shipping project, it ranks as the largest in the recent years. Such a large amount can no doubt bring great economic benefit and will certainly helped to cement and improve the business relationship between local financial institutions and international financial institutions.

It is noted that such a significant financing can only be possible due to the confidence of investors and financial institutions especially international financial institutions on economic and political stability of Brunei Darussalam. Thus, todayís signing is a strong proof of that trust and confidence of those financial institutions that Brunei Darussalam is indeed an attractive place to invest in.

I believe, and I know many of us here share the same vision, that more commercial projects of different sizes and for different purposes will be implemented in Brunei Darussalam in the future. The financial institutions will continue to play a very important role in these new developments and their continuous supports would be crucial if we were to materialise some of these projects. I further believe this will, as shown by our shipbuilding project, bring us to a Ďwin-winí situation for both the partners in the Brunei Gas Carriers Sendirian Berhad and the financing companies.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me take this opportunity to thank HSBC and the other members of the financing syndicate namely Credit Agricole Indosuez, Dubai Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance House, Islamic Development Bank Jeddah and British Arab Commercial Bank, with a very special mention to Mr. Warner Manning and his colleagues, for their cooperation during the preparation of the various agreements. Let me also wish each and every member of the syndicate greater success in the future.

This speech would not be complete if I, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Brunei Gas Carriers Sendirian Berhad, do not express my gratitude to all the joint venture partners of the Company namely the Prime Ministerís Corporation, Shell Gas B.V. and Mitsubishiís Diamond Gas Carriers B.V for their trust, confidence and full support at every stage of the financing arrangement. Similar gratitude is also extended to Brunei LNG Sendirian Berhad and the legal and financial advisers from both sides.

Last but not least, I would like to congratulate the management of the Brunei Gas Carriers Sendirian Berhad and the Project Management Committee for their hard work and perseverance in the preparation of the long term financing scheme of the ship building project. I am sure all of us share a mutual feeling that SS ABADI has turned out to be one very beautiful and alluring lady and that she is worth all the efforts that we had put into her.

On that note, let me end by saying once again, Thank you.

Wabillahi Taufik Wal Hidayah Assalamualaikum Warahmatullah Hiwabarakatuh.

(c) Pehin Adanan/Rozan Yunos