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Qatar’s Ezdan Chairman Donates Shares Valued at $3.8 Billion

Ezdan Real Estate Co. QSC’s Chairman Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, a member of the Qatari ruling family, donated 605 million shares worth 13.98 billion riyals ($3.8 billion) in the Middle East and Africa’s largest property developer to Islamic charity.

The donation is bigger than the charitable giving of all but seven U.S. donors over the past ten years, just behind the $4 billion given by Leona Helmsley in 2007, according to research by Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy. The donation was made as an Islamic endowment, according to an e-mailed statement today. Endowments in Islam are assets or funds dedicated for the needy and for building places of worship.

“There is no doubt that the success that Ezdan is achieving, as it expands and develops year after year, will lead to an increase in the value of the shares donated to charity to, God willing, the equivalent of about 18,000 housing units,” Al Thani said.

Ezdan, which is building housing projects, malls and schools in Qatar, closed unchanged at 23.1 riyals in Doha trading today. The shares have dropped 24 percent so far this year and are down 29 percent from a record on April 2008.

The developer said first-quarter profit slumped 49 percent to 36.8 million riyals from the year earlier without giving a reason for the decline. The shares started trading in 2008.

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