Qatar considers refinancing $10bn debt due next year
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Qatar considers refinancing $10bn debt due next year

Qatar considers refinancing $10bn debt due next year

No final decision has been made

Qatar’s government has approached international banks to explore refinancing more than $10bn in debt that comes due next year, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Officials at the Ministry of Finance are in early talks with international banks for a potential syndicated loan or bond sale, the people said, asking not to be named because they’re not authorised to speak publicly.

No final decision has been made, the people said. The government may decide to refinance part of the debt or even shelve the plan since the country has financial flexibility, they said.

A spokesperson for Qatar’s Ministry of Finance said the government didn’t have immediate plans to refinance debt.

The ministry “is always in talks with banks to assess market conditions for possible debt issuance as part of our normal liability and fiscal management exercise,” the spokesperson added.

Qatar, one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporters, has about $11bn in debt due in 2023, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Syndicated loan volumes in the Gulf region jumped to a record $113.5bn in 2021, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as sovereign and corporate issuers went on a fundraising spree to take advantage of easy financing conditions and cheap liquidity.

Qatar’s government expects its fiscal deficit to reach QR8.3bn ($2.3bn) this year at an assumed oil price averaging $55 a barrel. A recent run of gains has pushed crude above $90 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

The Gulf nation expects gas, a cleaner fuel than oil or coal, to remain crucial to the global economy for decades. It’s spending almost $30bn to boost its LNG production capacity by around 50 per cent in the next six years.

Qatar is also planning to issue its first green bond this year with an aim to tap into a booming global market for sustainable debt. It’s investing billions into clean energy in an effort to transition from being one of the top carbon emitters globally on a per capita basis.

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