Financial close on the debt funding for the QR6bn ($1.6bn) Doha Festival City mall development is expected to occur before the end of April, according to bankers working on the deal.
The deal has been slowly moving toward financial close for several months, with banks working on it for much of the past year.
“We expect to sign this deal before the end of the month, there is just one outstanding documentation issue to settle,” says one banker in Doha involved in the transaction.
The debt for the project will be around QR3.8bn, split between a QR2.8bn conventional bank facility and a QR1.2bn Islamic facility. Both have a tenor of 10 years and pricing is 150 basis points above the Qatar Central Bank reference rate.
Banks funding the deal include Qatar National Bank, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Doha Bank, and International Bank of Qatar, with Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank, and Barwa bank on the Islamic loan. Originally the project was expected to include just an Islamic tranche, but regulations preventing conventional banks from lending on Islamic facilities forced the deal to be split into a conventional and Sharia-compliant tranche.
Doha Festival City is being developed by the UAE’s Al-Futtaim Group and the local Qatar Islamic Bank, with QInvest acting as financial adviser on the scheme, along with Al-Futtaim’s investment and development arm, Al-Futtaim Capital.