Milaha (formerly Qatar Navigation) has secured a 10-year QR400mn financing from QNB Group. Qatar Shipping, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Milaha, secured the financing facility, proceeds of which would be used to fund the ongoing construction of 19 harbour assistance vessels. The vessels will be deployed in Mesaieed Port on a 20-year, QR 1.8bn contract, signed with Qatar Petroleum in 2011. The financing was arranged by Milaha Capital, another wholly-owned Milaha subsidiary, which provides corporate finance advisory services to the group as part of its mandate. The financing agreement was signed by Milaha president and CEO Khalifa bin Ali al-Hetmi and QNB general manager Abdulla Mubarak al-Khalifa. “This is the second ship financing agreement signed this year as part of a series of financing arrangements the company has been planning for 2012,” Milaha’s al-Hetmi said. Milaha had in March this year entered into a QR220mn eight-year financing deal with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation for another of its subsidiaries Halul Offshore Services Company. Terming that debt financing is key to funding its growth plans, he said: “We at Milaha recognise this facility with a leading bank like QNB as a token of trust in the company’s solid foundations, performance, and strong future prospects.” QNB enjoys a long standing strategic business relationship with Milaha and proud to be the financing bank for this significant acquisition, according to al-Khalifa. “This relationship came to emphasise the importance of QNB Group’s role in supporting and building the economy and its contribution to the development plans and investment of Qatar and to promote efficiency through the diversity of projects funded by the group,” he added.