At a ceremony held at Nakilat's Doha head office, Maran Nakilat signed the $662.4m Murabaha refinancing agreement with two of Qatar's leading Islamic banks, Qatar Islamic Bank ( QIB ) and Barwa Bank .
As a result of 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 LNG carriers scheduled for early 2014.
At the same time, Nakilat has increased its ownership of Maran Nakilat.
The vessels being added to Maran Nakilat's fleet are currently under construction in Korea.The two new vessels will carry LNG cargos for producers from across the world.
Nakilat Managing Director Muhammad Ghannam said: "Nakilat's financial strength allows us to expand our business and to further cement Nakilat's leadership position in the global LNG transportation industry. With the refinancing of Maran Nakilat, we are proud to increase Nakilat's total fleet from 54 LNG vessels to 56.
"The expansion of our fleet is evidence of Nakilat's strong bond with our partner Maran Ventures Inc., a premier player in the LNG shipping industry, and we thank Maran for their invaluable cooperation. 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 capitalize on opportunities for growth. Selecting the strongest partners both in shipping and in financing has been a cornerstone of Nakilat's success."
Bassel Gamal, QIB Group CEO, 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 Qatar vision 2030 to build a stronger economy.
"This partnership between QIB and Barwa Bank in financing Maran Nakilat is a testament of the strength of the cooperation 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 percent of its financing portfolio."
Mohamed Mubarak Al Sabahi, Head of Government and Public Sector, Wholesale Banking, Barwa Bank , commented on the deal: "The selection of Barwa Bank for this deal amidst 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 Co. Ltd on commercial and legal matters related to the refinancing, while Allen & Overy advised QIB and Barwa Bank .
© The Peninsula 2013
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