Doha Festival City says still talking with banks on loan amendment


DUBAI, July 17 (Reuters) - Qatari shopping mall operator
Doha Festival City said it remained in discussions with banks to
amend a $1 billion loan after bankers said a refinancing of the
facility had been put on hold because of Qatar's diplomatic
    Several bankers, including two at Qatari institutions
involved in the proposed deal, told Reuters that the refinancing
had been indefinitely postponed as the crisis had deterred Gulf
banks from doing new business with Qatar and tightened liquidity
in the domestic Qatari money market. [ID:nL8N1K423C]
    Doha Festival City initially declined to comment on the
news. Late on Sunday, however, the project's owner, Bawabat
al-Shamal Real Estate Co, issued a brief statement saying the
refinancing had not been frozen and had not been affected by the
diplomatic crisis.
    The project "continues to enjoy a healthy relationship with
all the banks it has been dealing with since the start of the
development," the company said.
    A spokesman for Doha Festival City told Reuters on Monday
that the company was still discussing with banks amendments to
its loan, which it raised in 2012. He declined to give any
details of the talks or say when a deal might be reached.
    Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain
cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing
it of supporting terrorism, a charge which Doha denies.

 (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Andrew Torchia, Greg


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