European builders could lose business in Qatar as Sepp Blatter’s resignation from the FIFA leadership prompts speculation that the decision to host the 2022 soccer World Cup in the country could be rescinded.
Qatar plans to spend as much as $200 billion on stadiums and infrastructure, and the likes of France’s Vinci SA and Thales SA, Germany’s Hochtief AG and Belgium’s Besix SA have been promised work, with a handful of projects already under way.
“The stadium projects are really at risk here,” London-based Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Sonia Baldeira said by telephone. “The infrastructure projects will happen at some stage anyway. But without this event, there isn’t the motivation to get them done quickly.”
Blatter’s decision yesterday to step down came a week after U.S. prosecutors indicted FIFA officials and Swiss authorities started a probe into the awarding of the next two World Cup tournaments to Qatar and Russia. Qatar’s benchmark QE index dropped as much as 3.2 percent, the most since March, before paring some losses.
Construction has yet to start on most of Qatar’s World Cup projects. Nonetheless, construction contracts in the emirate rose to $37.9 billion last year from $18 billion in 2012 as spending on transport and gas infrastructure projects progressed, according to analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence.
Besix has contracts for the Khalifa stadium and Thales has secured work at the Port of Doha. French rail company Alstom SA and QDVC, a joint venture between Vinci and Qatari Diar, last year won an order for a tramway system in Lusail. Hochtief said last month it secured a sewage tunnel construction contract in Qatar for 265 million euros ($295 million).