Qatar To Spend Up To $205 Billion On Infrastructure Ahead Of 2022 FIFA World Cup
Qatar National Bank Acting Head of Global Structured Finance Yusuf Saeed said that Qatar plans to spend as much as $205B on infrastructure between '13 and '18 "as the country invests its vast hydrocarbon wealth in a development boom," according to REUTERS. The Gulf Arab state is spending billions of dollars in areas such as transport, electricity and water generation and housing, "in an effort to improve its economy and build towards its hosting" of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The government "has been ramping up its own spending as part of this push." The budget for fiscal '13-14 is up 17.9% to QR210.6B ($57.8B), "thanks to wealth accrued as the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas." Saeed said that requests for banks to help finance the first of these -- the $6.4B Al Karaana scheme, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell -- "are due to be sent out by the end of the first quarter." Saeed said that "another significant contributor to the total figure is the Qatar Rail project," which is expected to cost around $45B to build. The contract "for rolling stock alone should be worth" between $5B-$10B (REUTERS, 2/5).