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Masraf to Provide $550 Million Facilities to Meera

Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar’s second-largest Shariah-compliant lender, said it agreed to provide credit facilities valued at 2 billion riyals ($550 million) to Al Meera Consumer Goods Co.

The facility is to finance expansion plans by the Qatari retailer, which is increasing the number of stores it operates and is moving into direct imports, the bank said in a statement to the Qatari bourse today.

“Masraf Al Rayan plans to diversify its customer base and build relationships with Qatari companies that believe in a unique vision vis-à-vis investment and expansion,” Adel Mustafawi, chief executive officer of Masraf, said in the statement.

Qatari companies, including Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar Telecom QSC and Qatar National Bank SAQ, have turned to debt markets this year as investors seek yields from what the International Monetary Fund projects will be the world’s fastest growing economy in 2010.

Al Meera shares started trading on the Qatar Exchange last year. The stock rose 0.2 percent to 57.5 riyals yesterday and is up 6.3 percent this year. Masraf Al Rayan shares, up 14 percent this year, rose 1.2 percent to 16.3 riyals yesterday.

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