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Qatar's joint venture eyes $2bn bonds

DUBAI: A joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil plans to sell up to $2.3 billion in bonds to finance the expansion of LNG facilities, said a spokesman for HSBC, one of the managers of the sale.

Ratings agencies Moody's, S&P and Fitch on Wednesday gave ratings to the notes, which will help fund Qatar's RasGas's liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains 6 and 7 and outstanding loans. S&P assigned an A rating, Moody's AA2 and Fitch A+.

Qatar, the world's top LNG exporter, plans to double its capacity this year to 62 million tonnes per year as it brings online the world's largest trains, including RasGas train 6.

RasGas, one of two LNG producers in Qatar, has a $665 million bond maturing in September, according to Reuters data.

Qatari state-affiliated firms are eyeing between $3bn and $4bn in bond sales this year to refinance debt and finance new projects as spreads narrow, Abdul-Rahman Al Shaibi, a member of Qatar's State Finance Policy Committee said.

RasGas's new debt will be structured as a 144a issue, meaning the bond can only be sold to certain institutional investors in the US. HSBC, Credit Suisse and Citigroup will manage the sale, an HSBC spokesman said.



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