Qatar’s sovereign fund is borrowing around €7 billion ($7.6 billion) against its stock holdings that will help the world’s top liquefied gas exporter to bolster its cash reserves as energy prices continue to plunge.
The Qatar Investment Authority announced that it is in discussions with banks such as JP Morgan and UBS Group for the margin loan. A deal could rank as one of the biggest ever such transactions in the region, it said.
Qatar is one of the world’s richest nations based on per capita income. It raised $10 billion in an April bond sale that attracted around $45 billion worth of orders.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the economies in all of the Gulf countries have been hit badly, not least by dramatic falls in energy prices, especially crude oil. Gas prices are tied to the price of crude.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways revealed today that it has told its employees that many could face redundancy as the flag carrier struggles with a collapse in demand. According to Reuters, Chief Executive Akbar Al-Baker told staff in a memo, “The truth is, we simply cannot sustain the current staff numbers and will need to make a substantial number of jobs redundant, inclusive of cabin crew.”
In February, the state owned airline increased its stake in British Airways’ owner IAG to 25 per cent as part of its strategy to invest in other carriers.