The banks are Credit Lyonnais, Standard Chartered Bank, Gulf International Bank (GIB), Qatar National Bankand National Bank of Dubai.

‘Those involved are beginning discussions over when the facility will be launched to syndication,’ says one of the lead arrangers. ‘There is strong regional liquidity, but the fact that summer is upon us and questions over the scheduling of Qatar’s other projected visits to market will have to be taken into account.’

An estimated $750 million borrowing for Qatar’s first gas-to-liquids (GTL) project is expected to be launched to banks in August (see below) and a substantial debt package for the third and fourth trains for Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (RasGas II) is expected to follow.

GIB is the only bank involved in the lead arranging of the original transaction to be among the lead arrangers of the refinancing. The other original lead arrangers were Bankers Trust International, now part of Deutsche Bank, Banque Paribas, now part of BNP Paribas, Canada’s Export Development Corporation, Sumitomo Bank, Bank of Taiwan, Chinatrust Commercial Bankand First Commercial Bank(MEED 19:12:97).

The refinancing has a tenor of eight and a half years (MEED 21:6:02). Societe Generale is acting as financial adviser to Qafac. Qatar Petroleumholds a 50 per cent stake in Qafac and the other shareholders are Chinese Petroleum Corporationand Taiwan’s Lee Chang Yung Chemical Industry Corporation, with 20 per cent and 15 per cent stakes respectively, and Canada’s International Octane, also with 15 per cent.