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Qatar digs deeper for financing

Qatar Petroleum’s finance unit, which plays a key role in overseeing debt raised by the Qatari state, says it is not concerned about overleveraging. But as Qatar embarks on investment in infrastructure and industry, its work is more important than ever.

Qatar Petroleum’s finance director, Abdulrahman Al Shaibi, is, says one banker, the most powerful man in Qatar outside the royal family. At international banks, this is especially true for bankers in loans and debt capital markets.

Al Shaibi’s unit manages all the financing and investments made by the national oil and gas company – as well as its growing subsidiaries in steel and petrochemicals, at home and abroad.

He is also someone who’ll be pitched for mandates to book-run Qatar’s ever more regular sovereign bonds.

If finance is raised for such companies as Qatar Airways, Qatar Telecom (Qtel) or Qatar National Bank – Qatar’s rapidly expanding flagship firms – it is Al Shaibi and his staff who will decide if it can go ahead and at what price. "Our role is to oversee the various activities of the government-related entities, to make sure the financing plans are coordinated and orchestrated," Al Shaibi tells Euromoney.

To give one example, the banks mandated on a $5 billion Qatari sovereign bond in November – Citi, HSBC, JPMorgan, Mitsubishi UFJ, QNB Capital and Standard Chartered – had all provided a large chunk of the $3.34 billion commercial loan for QP’s domestic-orientated Barzan gas project earlier in the year.

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