June 6, 2013 / 12:51 PM / 6 years ago

Barwa Real Estate to sell $7.1 bln of assets to Qatari Diar

DOHA, June 6 (Reuters) - Qatari developer Barwa Real Estate plans to sell assets worth 26 billion riyals ($7.1 billion) to the property arm of the country’s sovereign wealth fund to reduce debt, the company said on Thursday.

Among the assets being sold to Qatari Diar, which owns 45 percent of Barwa, will be the Barwa Commercial Avenue, Barwa Al Sadd and Barwa City projects, along with parts of the company’s investment portfolio, it said.

“The sale proceeds will be directed towards extinguishing the company’s debts, reducing financing costs and improving the company’s financial position,” Barwa said in a statement on the Qatar bourse’s website.

The sales will be completed by the end of the year, the company said.

Last October Barwa said it planned to sell assets worth 16 billion riyals ($4.4 billion) in Qatar and Egypt to pay down loans.

The company laid off about 90 employees in a restructuring move in 2011.

Barwa, which laid off about 90 employees in a restructuring exercise in 2011, has properties in France, Switzerland and Britain, focusing on retail, office, hospitality and residential developments.

Last month it unveiled plans to build a $5.5 billion island off the coast of Doha, featuring luxury villas, a water park, and five floating hotels to house soccer fans expected to flock to Qatar for the soccer World Cup in 2022. ($1=3.638 Qatari riyals) (Reporting By Regan Doherty; Editing by Maha El Dahan and David Goodman)

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