Qatar plans to sell 4 billion riyals (Dh4.03 billion) in treasury bills to provide lenders with a way to invest cash before borrowing picks up for the 2022 football World Cup.
The tranche includes three-month T-Bills, half of them Sharia-compliant, and will be the fourth issuance this year, central bank Governor Abdullah Bin Saud Al Thani said last week.
10 billion riyals of T-Bills of different maturities have been issued so far this year, he said. Qatar said in May it would start selling $2 billion in T-Bills a month, the first time such debt instruments were sold, to manage liquidity in an emirate where credit growth has slowed.
Cash has built up this year as lending failed to keep pace with deposits, central bank data show. The country plans to build nine new soccer stadiums, a $36 billion rail and metro system, a bridge to Bahrain and a city for 200,000 people before 2022, when it's scheduled to host the soccer World Cup.
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"It takes time for the loan growth to pick up and mega projects to come through," Jaap Meijer, head of the bank team at Dubai-based Alembic HC Securities, said in a telephone interview. "Next year, loan growth is going to pick up, but in the meantime, it removes liquidity in the system."
The T-Bill issuance will also help build a benchmark for pricing various maturities of debt, Al Thani said last week.
"It creates a benchmark for risk-free rates," Meijer said. "It helps the market in terms of sophistication."
The country will spend about $88 billion in infrastructure over the next decade in preparation for the most-watched sporting event, Enrico Grino, Qatar National Bank's head of project finance, said in May. The spending won't affect economic projections for the "coming few years" as projects will be concentrated toward the end of the decade, Ebrahim Ebrahim, economic advisor to the Emir, said in March.