QATAR: Maran Nakilat Company, a joint venture between Nakilat and Maran Ventures, has secured $662.4mn Islamic refinancing …

Officials of Nakilat Maran, QIB and Barwa Bank at the $662.4mn refinancing agreement signing in Doha yesterday.

Maran Nakilat Company, a joint venture between Nakilat and Maran Ventures, has secured $662.4mn Islamic refinancing that will see the JV expand its fleet and Nakilat increase its ownership of the JV.

At a ceremony held in Doha yesterday, Maran Nakilat signed the Murabaha refinancing agreement with two of the country’s leading Islamic banks, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and Barwa Bank.

With the refinancing, Maran Nakilat will be able to expand its fleet of LNG carriers from four vessels to six, with the delivery of two new carriers scheduled for early 2014.

At the same time, Nakilat has also increased its ownership of Maran Nakilat Company.

The vessels being added to Maran Nakilat’s fleet are currently under construction in South Korea. The two new vessels will carry LNG cargoes for producers from across the world.

At the refinancing signing ceremony, Nakilat managing director Mohamed Ghannam said, “Nakilat’s financial strength allows us to expand our business and further cement Nakilat’s leadership position in the global LNG transportation industry. With the refinancing of Maran Nakilat Company, we are proud to increase Nakilat’s total fleet from some 54 LNG vessels to 56.

“The expansion of our fleet is evidence of Nakilat’s strong bond with our partner Maran Ventures, a premier player in the LNG shipping industry, and we thank Maran for their invaluable co-operation. The refinancing transaction is also indicative of Nakilat’s solid relationship with QIB and Barwa Bank. We are grateful both to QIB and to Barwa Bank for their excellent support and we continue to look forward to working with Qatari banks to capitalise on opportunities for growth. Selecting the strongest partners both in shipping and in financing has been a cornerstone of Nakilat’s success.”

QIB Group CEO Bassel Gamal said, “The signing of this agreement confirms the bank’s strategy and commitment to providing financial Islamic solutions that meet the requirements of its institutional and corporate clients, and its contribution in supporting the national companies in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 to build a stronger economy.

“This partnership between QIB and Barwa Bank in financing Maran Nakilat Company is a testament of the strength of the co-operation between financial institutions in Qatar. It also promotes a true partnership of the bank and its leading role in the financing of projects of national development in the local market, which contributes more than 90% of its financing portfolio.”

Mohamed Mubarak al-Sabahi, Barwa Bank head (government and public sector, wholesale banking) said, “The selection of Barwa Bank for this deal amid tough competition in the market is an important achievement for us financially and strategically as we strive to enhance the positioning of Shariah-compliant banking and finance as a strategic choice for major local, regional and international companies. This deal adds to the growing track record of our bank in asset financing and is another example of Barwa Bank delivering value to customers, shareholders and the Qatari economy.”

Latham & Watkins advised Maran Nakilat on commercial and legal matters related to the refinancing, while Allen & Overy advised QIB and Barwa Bank.

Reported by: Caye Global News, Gulf Times

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