Bloomberg News

Qatar’s Tasweeq to Increase Bank Financing Outside Europe

May 10, 2012

Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Co., the state marketer of oil and gas products, will seek to diversify its funding sources to include banks outside Europe in the next year, an official said.

Qatar International, known as Tasweeq, will rely more on Asian banks, particularly Japanese lenders, because of concern for the European economic outlook and the possibility of bank failures, Roger Hickman, the company’s executive director of finance, said in an interview in Singapore.

“We’re trying to spread out across more banks than we currently have, so that we have access to funds,” he said after speaking at the Eurofinance conference in the city-state. “We are looking to aggressively balance our bank concentration risk to avoid excessive exposure to Europe,” Hickman added.

The company is now using five banks for its cash management, said Hickman.

“With multiple banks, in the event that there is a bank failure, and it just so happens to be one of our banks, we have more options available,” he said.

Tasweeq is also in early discussions with lenders over the possibility of having some payments and purchases denominated in the yuan, he said. There has been a “slight” increase in the demand from customers for trade finance in the Chinese currency, he said.

“It’s a marketing tool for us. Some buyers can’t get dollar-denominated funding,” Hickman said. China is the world’s second biggest crude user, according to BP Plc (BP/)’s Statistical Review.

Output Sales

There has been no difficulty in selling to customers, and the company expects trading revenue to be $40 billion this year, he said. Qatar will export 10 million to 11 million tons of liquefied petroleum gas this year, according to Hickman. Field condensate sales are estimated at 20 million to 22 million tons and refined products exports including plant condensate will reach 10 million to 11 million tons this year.

European banks are cutting back on loans, particularly in commodity trade financing, in an effort to shore up capital. France’s Credit Agricole SA (ACA) and BNP Paribas SA (BNP) both announced last year that they would significantly reduce their trade financing activities.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ann Koh in Singapore at akoh15@bloomberg.net; Tanya Angerer in Singapore at tangerer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net; Shelley Smith at ssmith118@bloomberg.net


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