Sunday, 2 October 2011

Boost for Athens as Qatar Invests $775m in Greek Gold

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: The Qatari sovereign wealth fund, which owns Harrods, is investing $775m (£497m) in European Goldfields, in what will be seen as a major boost for the ailing Greek economy.

Qatar Holding, which controls the wealth of the Middle East state’s royal family, has acquired a 9.9pc stake in the London and Toronto-listed gold miner from Greek construction group Ellaktor and one of its directors, Dimitrios Koutras.

It will also provide a $600m loan facility. The seven-year facility attracts a 7pc rate of interest.

European Goldfields’ shareholders will also be offered a further $150m of loan notes at the same rate.

If the loan notes are taken up and Qatar Holdings exercises other equity options that are attached it could take its stake close to 30pc and take the total value of the deal to almost $1bn.

Ahmad al-Sayed, Qatar Holding’s chief executive, said: “Hopefully this will have a positive impact on the local [Greek] economy. [By] investing in the company we are giving them the security of financing to start operating.” » | James Quinn, Deputy Business Editor, Sunday Telegraph | Saturday, October 01, 2011