Complex Made Simple

HSBC opens Project Finance office in Doha

HSBC, the number one financial advisor on Gulf projects, has expanded its regional capability with the addition of a dedicated Project Finance function to its Doha office.

Aamir Jawaid, a banker with 10 years’ experience in banking in the Middle East, will take up the role of Director, Project Finance, Qatar from March 15th. Aamir has been with HSBC since 2006, and has previously held senior roles in investment banking, focussing on financial advisory and financing. He has extensive experience in the oil & gas, petrochemicals, telecoms, transportation and infrastructure sectors. Prior to joining the banking industry, Aamir worked in the petrochemicals industry.

Darren Davis, HSBC’s regional Head of Project Finance, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Aamir to our established Project Finance team in the Middle East. We face a challenging environment in the regional project finance business, due to a combination of huge demand for finance from developers and the ongoing tightness in the credit markets. Having a local knowledge and presence is essential in helping our clients to deal with these challenges.”

“Qatar is a particularly important market for us,” added Davis. “Considering the ambitious development plans of the country, and HSBC’s long-standing commitment to Qatar, it is only appropriate that we are the first international bank to establish a fully dedicated Project Finance presence here.”

Charles Moncrieff, CEO of HSBC Qatar, said: “These are interesting times for Qatar, and this development will enable HSBC to build ever-closer ties with the corporate segment of the country, to provide our global and regional expertise to local projects. We look forward to further strengthening our ties with our clients and partners in Qatar.”

HSBC was the first international bank to open its Investment Banking offices in Doha in 2005. Since then the bank has led many transactions in Qatar as Advisors, for clients such as Qatar Real Estate, Qatari Diar, and QAFCO. HSBC has also acted as Debt Capital Markets Mandated Lead Arrangers or Bookrunners for Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat), Qatar Gas, Ras Gas, Qatar Petroleum, and Al Waab City.

The bank also has a leading role as Equity Capital Markets Arranger, with the recent initial public offering of Gulf International Services being the latest example.

The addition of the Project Finance office to HSBC in Qatar follows a raft of transactions that have been led by HSBC as advisors such as Qatofin, Kahramaa – Ras Laffan C IWPP, QafcoV; or as Mandated Lead Arranger of Financing i.e. Qatar Gas, Ras Gas, Nakilat, QAFCO, and Q-Chem.

With the strong pipeline of future business opportunities, the opening of the Project Finance office demonstrates the continued commitment and innovation that HSBC is bringing to Qatar with dedicated resources on the ground.

The Middle East remains one of the world’s most buoyant markets for Project Finance: HSBC estimates that over $50bn worth of projects will be signed in 2008, 25% up from the $40bn seen in 2007. In 2007, HSBC closed deals worth $16.2bn, making it by some margin the region’s leading Project Finance Advisor for the third year running.