Dubai keeping Miami port operations

Despite its promise last week to turn over management of U.S. port operations to an American entity, Dubai Ports World has no immediate plans to sell its interests at Miami's seaport, according to a private e-mail reported by the Associated Press.

The e-mail today to business associates from Robert Scavone, a vice president for DP World's U.S. subsidiary, said even if the company were to sell its Miami operations amid fierce opposition in Congress, "that would probably take a while."

Last week, with Congress moving to overrule the White House, Dubai Ports World announced it would give up its management stake in a deal to operate some of the terminals at U.S. ports and transfer it to an American company.

"Because of the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States and to preserve that relationship, DP World has decided to transfer fully the U.S. operation of P&O Operations North America to a United States entity," said DP World's chief operating officer, Edward H. Bilkey.

But the government-owned Dubai Ports World has declined to clarify its statement or specify the timing of any sale, prompting critics in Congress to threaten intervention, AP said.

In an interview, Scavone told AP he wrote the e-mail to reassure officials at the Port of Miami Terminal Operating Co. � which is half-owned by a DP World subsidiary � that uncertainty surrounding the deal would not affect its work there.

"As for the 'pending situation,' I myself am not aware of anything about it that would alter the ownership of POMTOC, so unless one or both of our esteemed partners have separately advised you that they plan to sell their interests, you should assume for your own purposes of managing the company that ownership of POMTOC is not going to change," Scavone wrote.

"And even if they do plan to sell, that would probably take a while," he wrote.

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