Qatar eyes $2.5 bln loan for Cegelec buy -magazine

DUBAI Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:27am EDT

DUBAI Aug 23 (Reuters) - Qatar's property investment arm Qatari Diar is close to launching syndication of a 1.7-billion- euro ($2.5 billion) loan to finance the Gulf state's acquisition of French engineering company Cegelec, a magazine reported.

Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA is underwriting the loan, London-based Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) reported on Friday. Qatari Diar is owned by the country's sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), and a partner.

"The new Qatari debt is associated with the acquisition of French engineering firm Cegelec in July by the QIA," MEED reported, citing bankers that it did not name.

Qatari Diar March said in March it was raising $2.5 billion in an 3.5-year syndicated Islamic loan to finance the purchase of the Chelsea Barracks in London.

That loan was downsized to $1.36 billion after spending longer than anticipated in syndication, MEED said.

The new loan will target European banks and be priced in euros, a source said, according to MEED. (Reporting by Daliah Merzaban; Editing by Ben Tan)

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