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Thursday, 6 March 2008

Diar gets Islamic loan for Chelsea project


DUBAI - Bloomberg: Qatari Diar Real Estate Development Co., a unit of the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, said it borrowed $2.47 billion to buy London's Chelsea Barracks in the U.K.'s biggest Islamic property finance transaction.
Qatari Diar and partner CPC Group got the Ijarah loan from banks led by BNP Paribas SA, Calyon, HSBC Holdings Plc, Masraf al-Rayan and Qatar National Bank SAQ, the Doha-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
“Our inaugural syndicated financing represents a major step in the advancement of what is certain to be an important development for all of London,” Qatari Diar Chief Executive Officer Ghanim bin Saad al-Saad said in the statement.
Qatari Diar and minority partner CPC Group on Jan. 31 said they completed their 959 million-pound ($1.87 billion) acquisition of Chelsea Barracks from the U.K. Ministry of Defense to build new homes and a seven-star hotel on the site.
London is the world's most expensive city after Monaco for apartment buyers, according to real-estate firm Global Property Guide.
Banks managing Qatari Diar's loan, due in 2011, are planning promotional meetings with other lenders in the Middle East, Asia and London, people familiar with the matter said Feb. 12.Muslim Shariah law forbids interest payments, so an Ijarah loan is based on a leasing contract and pays a profit rate to lenders rather than interest.

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