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Sun 21 Mar 2010 09:10 PM

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Qatar Shipping, Navigation to swap stock as merger looms

Deal to create a company capable of a leading role in Qatar.

Every 2.2 shares of Qatar Shipping Co are to be swapped for each one new share of Qatar Navigation in the planned merger of the two companies, a joint statement said on Sunday.

In January, the boards of the two companies approved the merger, part of efforts by the Gulf Arab state to protect the firms during the global financial crisis.

The statement said: "Qatar Navigation will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Qatar Shipping in exchange for new shares of Qatar Navigation. The exchange ratio for the transaction will be one new share of Qatar Navigation for every 2.2 shares of Qatar Shipping."

The deal, subject to shareholders' approval, will create a company capable of a leading role in Qatar with the potential of a major regional role and international presence, the statement said.

Consolidation in the oil exporting Gulf region has been on the rise as the financial crisis and an oil price slump ended an economic boom, forcing firms in sectors ranging from property o investment to search for ways to weather the downturn.

Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is also ensuring its key property firms weather the global crisis, which has hit nearby Dubai hard, by pushing through defensive mergers. (Reuters)

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