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Tue 21 Apr 2009 10:44 AM

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Barwa mulls selling assets to boost H1 profit

UPDATED 1: Real estate co earns $53.27m in Q1, down from $91.44m in the year-earlier period.

Qatar's Barwa Real Estate Co is mulling asset sales to boost profits in the first half, after investments in shares of listed firms weighed on its Q1 results, its new chief financial officer said on Tuesday.

"We are looking to sell some assets which might improve profit for the first half," Barwa's CFO Ahmed El Ezabi told Reuters.

Ezabi, who was appointed in March, said its investments in listed companies "did not pay any dividends in 2009," declining to be more specific.

Increases in financing and general administrative costs also hit its net income, he said.

First quarter net profit fell 42 percent to QAR193.8m ($53.27m), the company said in a statement on the bourse website earlier on Tuesday.

Barwa, which has property in Paris, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, was holding back on future European investments until the global economy improved, Ezabi said.  (Reuters)