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Sun 15 Aug 2010 02:17 PM

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Qatar's Barwa Q2 net profit rises 44.3 percent

Qatari property developer makes a second quarter profit of QR260.42m ($71.5m).

Qatari property developer Barwa Real Estate Co made a second quarter profit of QR260.42m ($71.5m), according to Reuters calculations, a 44.3 jump from the same period a year ago.

The company made a first half profit of QR470.42m ($129.2m), it said on Sunday in a statement posted on the Qatari bourse website, without giving a reason for the increase.

Barwa is the Gulf Arab region's third largest developer by market capitalisation and an affiliate of the state's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, which holds a 45 percent stake in the company.

The company was hit hard by the region-wide real estate slump but Qatar is ensuring its key property firms weather the global crisis by pushing through defensive mergers and using the real estate arm of the sovereign wealth fund to invest in them.

The developer's shares closed 1.6 percent lower on Sunday in earlier trading on Sunday, underperforming Qatar's bourse QSI which eased 0.6 percent.

Barwa reported a net profit of QR210m in the first quarter of 2010.

Barwa said in April it would continue to sell assets in 2010 and 2011 to meet its obligations after it repaid 4.3 billion riyals in Islamic financial facilities.

At the same time, it bought the Park House development in London in June for 250 million pounds ($371m), taking advantage of low valuations abroad. The acquisition was the first major wholly-owned investment made by Barwa in the UK.

In June Jones Lang LaSalle said Qatar was likely to be the largest source of capital to global real estate markets in 2010. ($1=3.638 Qatari riyals) (Reuters)

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