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Qatar tells banks to seek overseas funding: report

UAE Business

Qatar is requesting banks to tap international investors to raise financing, instead of mainly relying on government funding as the impact of the ongoing Arab boycott puts pressure on liquidity, according to an international report.

The central bank is holding regular meetings with lenders to gauge how the standoff is affecting liquidity, and is encouraging banks to borrow internationally through bonds and loans to avoid further depletion of foreign reserves and credit rating downgrades, said Bloomberg, quoting sources asking not to be identified, reported Wam, the Emirates official news agency.

Banks have been told they should ask for government funding as a last resort, the report added.

In an earlier report, the international news agency said that Qatar’s economy will expand this year at the slowest pace since 1995, citing notable economists it surveyed recently, as the impact of the boycott is felt on trade and investor confidence.

Some banks and government-related entities are planning fundraising deals to help with tightening liquidity, according to the report. Most borrowers plan to target investors in Asia to fill the gap left by Gulf lenders. Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ recently raised financing in Yen and Australian dollars through private placements.

Qatar National Bank QPSC, the country’s largest, held early discussions with international lenders about a private placement, bond sale or loan, while Commercial Bank QSC sent a request for proposals for a dollar loan for at least $500 million. Doha Bank QSC is also seeking to raise funds via a private placement of dollar bonds, according to the report.

Qatari banks are also finding it harder to obtain short-term funding as international banks are asking them to pledge assets outside of Qatar instead of domestic ones to reduce the risk linked to the loans, it noted.

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