Volatile oil prices ‘won’t affect Qatar wealth fund plans’
November 20 2014 12:45 PM
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Ahmed al-Sayed. “We evaluate the market from time to time.”

Reuters/Doha

Volatile oil prices will not force the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to change its investment strategy, the sovereign wealth fund's chief executive said on Thursday.

A plunge in prices - benchmark Brent crude fell to more than a four-year low of below $77 per barrel last week - is hitting the finances of Gulf Arab oil exporting countries, which rely on crude and gas sales for most of state revenue.

"In QIA, we have a long-term strategy, which accounts for the volatility in the market," Ahmed al-Sayed told reporters on the sidelines of the industry conference in Doha. "We are adjusted and ready for such a scenario."

Asked whether there will be a short-term adjustment, he told a news conference: "No, I don't think so. We evaluate the market from time to time."

Gulf sovereign wealth funds such as the QIA have built up large savings over recent years thanks to high oil prices of above $100 per barrel. The QIA, one of the top investors globally, has an estimated $170bn worth of assets, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

Al-Sayed also declined to comment on whether the fund will make a new bid for Songbird Estates.

Songbird, the majority owner of London's Canary Wharf, rejected a £2.2bn takeover proposal from the QIA and Brookfield Property Partners on November 7, saying the 295 pence-a-share offer undervalued the group.

The QIA already owns 28.6% of Songbird, which in turn owns 69% of Canary Wharf Group, the owner of the estate which rivals the City of London as a financial services centre.

US-based Brookfield, which operates and invests in office and industrial property, has a 22% stake in Canary Wharf Group.

The Sunday Times reported on November 9 that the pair may return with a higher offer.

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