Qatar Investment Authority
|Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani|
|AUM||US$170 billion (2013)|
The Qatar Investment Authority (Arabic: جهاز قطر للاستثمار) (QIA) is Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, specializing in domestic and foreign investment. The QIA was founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to strengthen the country's economy by diversifying into new asset classes.
History and profile
The QIA was founded in 2005 by the then-Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to manage the oil and natural gas surpluses by the government of Qatar. As a result of its stated strategy to minimize risk from Qatar's reliance on energy prices, the fund predominantly invests in international markets (United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific) and within Qatar outside the energy sector. Prior to establishment of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) in 2005, Qatar’s Ministry of Finance had a small in-house team to invest revenue from budget surpluses. The Qatar National Vision 2030 foresees the shift from natural gas based revenue to QIA-type investments between now and then.
QIA is estimated to hold in excess of $170 billion of assets an amount that is expected to significantly increase as the state completes its expansion projects to become the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporter with 77 million tons output capacity. The QIA does not publish its holdings to the market. It is not clear if QIA mixes or not personal investments of the royal family members and the funds of the state of the Qatar.
In June 2013 after the new emir's arrival to power, and general reshuffle into Qatar's main organizations, Ahmad Al Sayed was appointed as QIA's Chairman and Chief Executive, replacing Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani in the post while also remaining Managing Director & CEO of QIA's main subsidiary Qatar Holding. Khalifa Al Kuwari is the current Chief Operating Officer.
In January 2013, one writer pegged the QIA investment in Britain at 30 billion euros, France 10 billion euros and Germany 5 billion euros, while another reported that the total assets under management in June 2013 was on the order of $100 billion. Qatar Holding's stake in Barclays rose to 12.7% following Barclays' capital raising in October 2008. Qatar Investment Authority holds a small stake in Fisker Automotive. It also holds about 17% stake in the Volkswagen Group, Porsche, Hochtief, as well as investments in Sainsbury’s. The French government has made of Qatar a strategic partner, and the list of partnerships between the two states includes Lagardère (12%) Total (4%), EADS (6%), Technip, Air Liquide, Vinci SA (5%), GDF Suez, Veolia (5%), Vivendi, Royal Monceau, France Telecom and Areva. In February 2009, France accorded special beyond-OCDE investment privileges to Qatar and its State-Owned Enterprises; one example is capital gains exemptions in France. The QIA is also reported to hold part of Xstrata.
On 8 May 2010, Qatar Holding, an indirect subsidiary of QIA, purchased the Harrods Group from Mohamed Al-Fayed, including the Knightsbridge department store. QIA are also the largest shareholder in Sainsbury's. On 3 December 2010, Qatar Investment Authority, along with Colony Capital and Tutor-Saliba Corporation, was part of an investment group known as Filmyard Holdings, which purchased Miramax from Disney.
In February 2012, it completed the acquisition of Credit Suisse's headquarters in London. QIA holds a 6% stake in Credit Suisse and owns shares in Apeldoorn, the majority owner of Canary Wharf Group. Qatari Diar, a property arm of the fund, along with Canary Wharf, won a £300mn deal to redevelop the Shell Centre in London that houses the Royal Dutch Shell's London headquarters. The French government has offered tax exemptions for Qatari real estate investments in the country and have acquired almost $4 billion of property. In May 2012, it acquired a stake below 3% in Royal Dutch Shell. It has announced a plan to raise its stake to 7%. In late 2012 Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) completed a buyout of the French football club Paris Saint-Germain F.C. (P.S.G.), which valued the club at $130 million. QSI invested a further $340 million in the club, they had bought the P.S.G. handball team the previous year. The Qatari president of P.S.G., Nasser Al-Khelaifi is also the director of Qatari owned television network Al Jazeera Sports, which launched French television channels beIN Sport. Qatar has also offered to finance social programs in French suburbs, which has attracted criticism.
In January 2013, Qatar Holding, an indirect subsidiary of QIA, said it would invest $5 billion into petrochemical projects in Malaysia in the three to four years. The investment was said to help Malaysia compete with neighbouring Singapore to become the region’s top petrochemical hub. The QIA was planning to invest $200 million in residential property in India through Kotak Realty Fund in late December 2013.
In October 2014, Qatar Investment Authority, has signed an agreement with CITIC Group Corp to launch a $10 billion fund that will invest in the China region The QIA announced its intention to invest $35b in the US during the next five years, starting in September 2015.
Qatari Diar is a real estate company established by the Qatar Investment Authority in 2005 with headquarters in Doha.
By 2011 the company had stakes in Vinci SA, a firm employing 183,000 in 100 countries; in the utility Suez Environment and in Veolia Environnement. That same year Qatari Diar bought the Port Tarraco Marina in Tarragona, Spain. Early in 2012 the company had 49 projects in the planning or development stage in Qatar and in 29 countries around the world. The company owns The Shard, a sky scraper in London designed by Renzo Piano and the publicly funded Olympic village also known as East Village, London; and the former Royal Dutch Shell plc headquarters. In January 2013 it became known that the company had put on hold a redevelopment project of Chelsea Barracks worth around GBP 3 billion. During the same month Qatari Diar pulled out of the bidding for the development of the site of Athen's former international airport Elleniko.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray (District of Columbia) announced in early 2013 that he will travel to Qatar to promote the flow of global capital to the district. Qatari Diar is said to back CityCenterDC with around US$700 million. Representatives of Qatari Diar attended an investment conference hosted by the Peruvian Foreign Investment Authority.
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