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Qatar is to launch an energy-focused Islamic lender in late-2019 backed by its gas riches. The Energy Bank is targeting capital of $10bn, and a senior executive last week stated a Q4 start-up is on the cards according to Reuters. Local media reports that Energy Bank currently has $2.5bn in financing, and that this will be progressively scaled up to the targeted $10bn. The institution will provide financing to energy projects both overseas and domestically. Despite being subject to an economic embargo by neighboring states since June 2017, Qatar shows no sign of reigning in its hydrocarbon-backed overseas expansion which has also seen state firm Qatar Petroleum embark on a transformative series of international upstream acquisitions ( MEES, 15 March 2019 ). (CONTINUED - 117 WORDS)