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Standard and Poor's explains economic and financial impact of Qatar's 2022 World Cup

altAccording to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, the decision by FIFA to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar (AA/Stable/A-1+) will have a significant impact on the Qatar's economic and financial future. In the report "FAQ On The Economic And Financial Impact Of Qatar's 2022 World Cup", credit analyst Luc Marchand explains S&P's views on how the World Cup may affect Qatar's development and its ratings. 

"We do not anticipate any change in the ratings at this time as 2022 is much further into the future than the horizon for our stable outlook," Mr Marchand said. "That said, we believe the World Cup will have a substantial impact on Qatar's already promising economic growth over the next few years as the country readies itself to host this major sporting event," he added.

Additional government infrastructure spending for the World Cup is estimated at about QR233bn ($64bn, or 47% of 2010 GDP). New stadia, footballers' and fans' facilities and other basic infrastructure (such as the metro rail system and road extensions) are expected to be built, notably.

"We do not expect a significant increase in the level of sovereign debt. As in the past, we expect most of the infrastructure will be financed via revenues from the oil and gas sectors. In our opinion, this could lead to a lower, although still substantial, surplus in the government's budget at above 7% of GDP in 2011-2013," Mr. Marchand said.

Additional moderate borrowing is possible as has already occurred via government guarantees. For example, Standard & Poor's rated bonds issued earlier this year by a subsidiary of the Qatar sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, through an SPV (Qatari Diar Finance QSC). The SPV issued $3.5bn in government guaranteed bonds in July 2010, rated 'AA' by Standard & Poor's, which was used to finance large-scale real estate projects in Qatar.

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