March 19, 2019 / 7:57 AM / 4 months ago

Qatar to launch energy-focused Islamic bank with $10 billion capital

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Corniche Towers is seen in Doha, Qatar February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar will launch an energy-focused Islamic lender later this year with a targeted capital of $10 billion to finance both domestic and global projects, an executive said on Tuesday.

Tiny but wealthy Qatar is one of the most influential players in the liquefied natural gas market with annual production of about 77 million tonnes, and it plans to increase this over 40 percent to 110 million by 2024.

Speaking at an Islamic Finance conference in Doha, executives launching Energy Bank said it would be the largest Islamic energy-focused lender in the world, and would target private sector and government energy projects, both at home and abroad.

Mohammed al-Marri, chairman of Energy Bank’s media committee, said operations would begin in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“With paid-up capital of $2.5 billion, the establishment of Energy Bank in Qatar comes in light of the incredible growth projected for Qatar’s energy sector,” Marri told a news conference.

Marri declined to specify how or when the bank planned to raise its capital to the $10 billion target. He said it would focus on financing oil and gas, petrochemicals, and renewable energy projects, but declined to specify how much would be allocated for lending outside the country.

Reporting by Eric Knecht; Writing by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Louise Heavens and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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