CSFB Loses $3.5 Billion UAE Contract

Credit Suisse First Boston, the fifth most successful bank at raising money for the oil industry this year, lost a contract to help arrange financing for the United Arab Emirates on a $3.5 billion plan to import natural gas.

One of four CSFB bankers on the project was laid off in April, said Michael Powell, head of project finance at CSFB for Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Powell himself will leave the bank “shortly,” though will stay on as a consultant. A spokesman for the project, Dolphin Energy Ltd., said the departures contributed to the split.

The loss highlights the difficulties investment banks face in keeping clients as they eliminate jobs. Credit Suisse has eliminated about 2,900 investment banking jobs. It's a setback as well for the project, which is a year behind schedule in its bid to fuel growth in energy demand in the United Arab Emirates.

Finding a new adviser ``may delay the project a bit, but not stop it,” said Muhammad-Ali Zainy, a senior energy analyst with the London based Centre for Global Energy Studies. “A financial adviser can be replaced.”

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