Qatar fund to spend $30 billion this year
Doha, April 22, 2012
Qatar's aggressive sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), has $30 billion to spend this year, executive board member Hussain Al Abdulla said at a conference on Sunday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Investment Forum in the Qatari capital Doha, Abdulla said QIA's assets under management have risen to over $100 billion.
Qatar, which has accumulated huge surpluses over the past decade due to high oil and gas prices, has been pursuing an aggressive investment policy, especially in Europe.
QIA has been the most active of the region's sovereign wealth funds in recent years, deploying the Gulf nation's natural gas riches in assets ranging from German sports car maker Porsche to British bank Barclays.
Qatari investors have made several major investments in France, buying the Paris Saint-Germain football club, a 5.6 per cent stake in building firm Vinci, five per cent of utility group Veolia and 10.1 per cent in media group Lagardere.
Last week, Qatar Holding, the investment arm of QIA, acquired Smeralda Holding, the owner of luxury resorts on the Italian island of Sardinia.
The deal is the latest in a string of European property acquisitions by Qatar, including the high-profile investments in the upmarket Harrods department store in London and the Credit Suisse headquarters in Canary Wharf.
Abdulla said QIA had invested $2 billion in agriculture over the past two years through its Hassad Food food security unit.
QIA, he said, was now focusing on investments in commodities because 'structural changes are happening in the sector and the prices of commodities are likely to go up,' in the future.-Reuters