By Simone Foxman Bloomberg
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is looking east for deals in an effort to diversify an investment portfolio heavily weighted toward North America and Europe.
Asia “has been very much on our radar screen,” HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as Qatar Investment Authority Chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
North American deals, however, will remain a priority, he said.
“It’s not only from a growth perspective, but also from a diversification perspective,” he said, pointing to substantial investments in Europe over the past decade. “Asia didn’t take the fair portion of the investments.”
Interest from sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf in American assets jumped to the highest on record in 2020, with the funds pouring $14.7bn in direct investments into the country last year, compared with $6.48bn in 2019, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.
The Qatar Investment Authority manages about $300bn of assets and ranks as the world’s 11th-largest wealth fund, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.
The QIA chairman didn’t identify Asian specific targets, mentioning only a list of locations such as India, Malaysia, Singapore, and China.
“We’ve been doing a lot of investments in the last couple years in China, and they’ve been doing very well,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
The QIA holds stakes in some of the world’s top companies including London Stock Exchange Group Plc, Volkswagen AG and Glencore Plc. It agreed to purchase a 30% stake in a high-end Istanbul shopping center toward the end of last year, while also agreeing to develop renewable energy in Africa with Italian utility Enel SpA.
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