Qatar 'open for business and business as usual': QIA chief
September 13 2017 10:16 PM
QIA chief executive HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani.


The lingering Gulf political crisis was having little impact on Qatar’s $300bn sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) chief executive HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani said on Wednesday.
"We are still open for business and business as usual," he said in an address at the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, while adding "We are fine," AFP reported.
The QIA chief asserted there was "no problem" for the fund despite the crisis passing the 100-day mark. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut all ties with Qatar, accusing it of bankrolling extremists and being too close to Iran. Qatar denies the charges and has moved to realign itself politically and economically.
Sheikh Abdullah said the QIA's exposure to those countries leading the boycott was "very, very small" and added that the fund would continue its recent policy of targeting hi-tech and infrastructure companies in the US. "The future is technology," he said.
Among the companies in which the QIA was investing were those in the health sector using hi-tech solutions for cancer treatment, he said. In 2015 he announced that the QIA would invest up to $35bn in the US over the following five years, after targeting high-profile acquisitions in Europe.
Last December it was also announced the fund would invest $10bn in US infrastructure projects. Sheikh Abdullah said on Wednesday that around half of that $45bn had been invested.
The QIA has opened an office in New York and will do so soon in the Silicon Valley, he added. "If you want to invest in the States, you have to have boots on the ground," he said.
Earlier this week it was announced that the QIA and Swiss commodities trader Glencore had sold a major part of a stake they had only recently acquired in Russian oil giant Rosneft to Chinese conglomerate CEFC. The QIA is considered one of the world's biggest sovereign funds, AFP added. 
Reuters quoted Sheikh Abdullah as telling reporters that most of the remaining money allocated for the US is being invested in the infrastructure sector.
Qatar's interest in infrastructure comes amid President Donald Trump's pledge to speed approvals for highways and other projects as part of his proposal for a $1tn boost to fix ageing US infrastructure.
The QIA chief said the sovereign wealth fund has not divested from any banks. QIA holds stakes in Credit Suisse, Barclays and in major Qatari banks.
Last month he was quoted as saying there were no plans to liquidate foreign assets -- as some investors had speculated -- and that the fund would soon announce big new international investments, according to Reuters.

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