Nakilat Seeks $2.5b for Tankers

Thursday, July 05, 2007
Qatar Gas Transportation (Nakilat) is considering tapping the Islamic finance market as part of plans to raise $2.5b early next year to pay for tankers, Reuters said. The company has ordered 54 tankers to cope with growing global demand for its gas.

Nakilat considered borrowing in accordance Islamic law when it raised $4.3 billion in December but decided instead to use a mix of conventional bonds, loans and export credits. The company sold $1.15b of bonds maturing in 2033 to help pay for 16 tankers built by South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world's biggest shipbuilder.

Nakilat needs $2.5b to pay for another nine tankers and if it exercises an option to buy two more, it would look to raise $3b by the end of the first quarter.

Sales of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, are surging on growing demand among the world's 1.2b Muslims for investments that comply with their beliefs, making it easier for companies to borrow larger amounts at longer maturities. All the ships will be delivered by February 2010. (Source: Reuters)

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