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Take cover

01 December 2002

Trouble in the Middle East has made ratings agencies nervous. Do the region's most high-profile deals have enough insurance? Mary Watkins reports.

Read more: [project finance] [BOT] [project insurance] [oil and gas]

Finding comprehensive insurance policies for project finance deals post September 11 has become far more difficult and expensive, but lenders have not shied away from investing in deals in the Middle East, where pricing remains competitive and interest in oil, gas and liquefied natural gas deals is high. However, questions are being raised over what the effect of threat of an Iraqi war would have on deals in the region and whether deals, whose policies are coming up for renewal, would be able to find cover at all. At the end of November, Moody's Investors Service placed the project debt for Oman LNG and Ras Laffan LNG, two of the most high profile project finance deals in the Middle East, under review for a possible downgrade. In each case the ratings agency said the two key causes for concern were the possibility of war in the region, as well as...

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