TBILISI: Kavkaz-Poti Ferry Deal


The Messenger, Georgia
Aug 6 2007

Hakim Matchianov, Rezerv Capital Corporation chairman and owner of
the SMAT Kavkaz-Poti ferry, announced plans to sell 49 percent of
his stocks to Armenian companies on August 2.

He went on to emphasize the importance of the Kavkaz-Poti ferry route
for Armenian cargo. The Kavkaz port is in Russia; Armenia has had
difficulties getting its exports to the country since trade links
between Georgia and Russia were cut in late 2006.

Matchianov then outlined prospects for the recently established SMAT
ferry. Expressing regret that only three runs have been carried out
by SMAT since April 2007, Matchianov stated that from August onwards
four trips a month will be made.

He named some of the difficulties the company has recently faced,
including a lack of appropriate infrastructure for registering cargo
at Kavkaz, and acknowledged the stiff competition presented by the
seven other ferry companies operating the same route.

But he emphasized that SMAT offers a comparatively fast loading time
of one hour, and announced a USD 30 price reduction per train carriage.

The SMAT ferry was launched on April 10, 2007, with a capacity of 50
train cars, but has since been dogged with problems.