Qatar plans to invest $35 bn in US over next five years

29 September 2015

Qatar plans to invest $35 billion in the US over the next five years as it sought to diversify assets.

The Qatar Investment Authority, which helped manage the country's energy-generated wealth, opened an office in New York to "better access new and existing investment partners," the sovereign fund said in a statement yesterday.

The new office would target various sectors of the US economy and help create US jobs, Qatar's ambassador to Washington, DC, Mohammed Al Kuwari, said in Twitter postings, without elaborating on potential investments.

QIA said it "remains committed to its investments in Europe, Asia and the Middle East," while the New York office "facilitates access to significant investment opportunities."

The Doha-based fund, which controlled over $250 billion, had deployed national funds on assets ranging from British bank Barclays Plc to Total SA and commodities trader Glencore Plc, with the bulk of investments confined to Europe.

It led a group of investors that agreed in January to buy London's Canary Wharf financial district in a deal that valued owner Songbird Estates Plc at about 2.6 billion.

A number of those investments had taken severe hits with Glencore plunging 31 per cent yesterday, extending a rout that's wiped over $14 billion (See: Glencore stock plunges 30% to hit new low).

The QIA was also the biggest holder of VW's preferred shares and the third-largest owner of its ordinary stock.

The value of its holding in the automaker might taken a 3.8-billion hit after last week's controversy about rigged emissions testing according to commentators.

Qatar's portfolio, valued between $256 billion and $334 billion, included Harrods department store, and significant stakes in UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's and the London Stock Exchange.

The fund, along with other investors, last year agreed to acquire American Express Co.'s business-travel division for $900 million.

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