Qatar team to weigh Petronet stake buy

Business Standard, Ahmedabad

A high-level delegation from Qatar is expected to visit India shortly to carry out due diligence for a possible investment in Petronet LNG, the company?s Chairman and Managing Director P Dasgupta said.  
Qatar Investment Authority is likely to pick up a stake in Petronet by subscribing to a $100mn foreign currency convertible bond issue which is expected to be floated soon.  
Qatar had earlier been offered a 10 per cent stake in 2003 when the company offered shares to the public.  
In 1999, Petronet had signed a 25-year contract with Qatar?s Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (RasGas) for 7.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG.  
Meanwhile, India?s Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed has been quoted by Qatari newpaper Peninsula as saying stake sale in Petronet LNG to Qatar are at a ?very advanced stage?.  
On the Iran gas pipeline, Ahamed said discussions were still on. He added that during his recent visit to Turkmenistan, the proposed Turkmenistan-Pakistan-Afghanistan-India pipeline had sparked a great deal of interest with his hosts.  
On the prospects of Indian companies investing in Qatar, he said the Tata group had already explored the possibility for setting up an industrial chemicals unit. It has also signed an agreement to set up a resort around a golf course in association with Qatar National Hotels Company.  

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