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Barwa's First-Half Profit Advances 33% After State Support on Loan Payment

Barwa Real Estate Co. reported a 33 percent increase in first-half profit as the largest Qatari developer by assets received help from the gas-rich country’s government to repay some Islamic finance obligations.

Net income rose to 498.4 million riyals ($137 million), or 1.63 riyals a share, from 374.2 million riyals, or 1.43 riyals, in the year-earlier period, the company said in a statement to the Qatar Exchange website today. Barwa recorded 914.9 million riyals in gains after the government approved a request to free the company from obligations under Islamic financing contracts provided by Qatari banks and related finance costs, it said.

Barwa, which has Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund as one of its biggest shareholders, may benefit from a further pickup in economic growth and an increase in government spending in Qatar, the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas. Qatar’s economy is expected to expand by 18 percent this year, double last year’s growth, according to government projections.

The company said last month that one of its units, Barwa City Real Estate Co., received $3.5 billion of Islamic murabaha financing from Qatari Diar Finance to finance two property developments. Barwa said in April it repaid 4.3 billion riyals in Islamic financing facilities.

Barwa agreed in June to pay 250 million pounds for Park House, an office and retail area in London’s West End district, the seller Land Securities Group Plc said. Barwa’s banking unit said in July its shareholders approved the acquisition of First Finance Co. and First Leasing Co. to form an Islamic lender.

Barwa shares dropped 1.6 percent to close at 30.1 riyals on the Qatar Exchange today. The stock has declined 8.8 percent this year compared with a 0.9 percent gain for the QE Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Tuttle in Doha at rtuttle@bloomberg.net

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