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Qatar says won’t issue bonds to fund World Cup

Country seeks to keep inflation at "acceptable level".

December 15, 2010 10:17 by

Qatar does not plan to issue bonds to fund the 2022 soccer World Cup, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said on Tuesday.

The Gulf Arab state is expected to spend $100 billion over the next five years on infrastructure projects including road and rail networks planned before it was chosen as host, as well air-conditioned stadiums.

Qatar, which has never qualified for the World Cup finals, will be the first Arab and Middle Eastern country to stage the tournament, and the smallest ever.

“We don’t need (bonds) … because most of our plan will cover 70 to 80 percent of what we need, which is all the infrastructure: the airport, the port, the roads, the train,” Sheikh Hamad told reporters.

All transportation infrastructure for the World Cup will be completed within seven years, he said.

“What we need is a few stadiums, but that’s not a big deal if you compare it with all the infrastructure.”

He declined to comment on whether Qatar, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), would increase its stake in German builder Hochtief .

Earlier this month, Qatar agreed to purchase a 9.1 percent stake in the firm, saying it was key to developing infrastructure for the World Cup.

Its vibrant natural gas sector will propel the country to a 20 percent growth rate next year, while inflation will remain subdued at 3 percent, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

The Gulf state is seeking to keep inflation at “an acceptable level”, Sheikh Hamad added.

(Editing by John Stonestreet)

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