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Wed 17 Dec 2008 04:07 AM

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Qatari Diar injects funds into London's Shard of Glass

Tallest building in UK project next to London Bridge now looks certain to go ahead.

Qatari property developers have secured fresh funding for one of London's highest-profile tower projects - the Shard of Glass at London Bridge - with the loan of an undisclosed sum from Qatari Diar, the state-owned real estate company, it was reported on Tuesday.

Construction of the Shard - which at more than 310m would be the tallest building in Britain - now looks assured, UK's Financial Times reported.

The development is led by a consortium of four Qatari companies - Qatar Investment Bank, Qinvest, Qatar National Bank and Barwa International - and Sellar Property Group.

Qatari Diar, owned by the emirate's sovereign wealth fund, is not a consortium member but it is connected with the Qatari companies involved, the paper quoted one person close to the project as saying.

LBQ, the development consortium, said the loan from Qatari Diar was "a major part of our overall financing requirement" for a project that is estimated to cost about 2 billion pounds ($3.11 billion). LBQ added that the tower plus a smaller building, London Bridge Place, will now be completed on schedule in 2012.

No details of the terms of these deals nor the size of the loan to LBQ were revealed.

The loan comes a month after Qatari Diar bought control of the Chelsea Barracks project, a high-end scheme conceived by Nick and Christian Candy, who also sold Qatari Diar their interest in the Grosvenor Waterside project.

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