Qatar to invest $35b in US with NY office

Qatar to invest $35b in US with NY office
Qatar's $300 billion acquisitive sovereign-wealth fund opened an office in New York on Monday as the wealthy Persian Gulf state steps up its international expansion.
2 min read
29 September, 2015
Qatar looks to diversify from investments traditionally focused on Europe [AFP/Getty]

Qatar has committed to spend $35 billion in the US over the next five years, as the Gulf Arab state looks to diversify from investments traditionally focused on Europe.

Qatar's acquisitive sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), gave the figure on Monday in a statement announcing the opening of an office in New York, which it said was a sign of its confidence in the US and the wider Americas.

"It is the perfect location to help strengthen our existing relationships and promote new partnerships as we continue to expand geographically, diversify our assets and seek long-term growth," QIA chief executive Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani said in a statement.

The QIA, which has about $334 billion of assets according to industry tracker Sovereign Wealth Center, said in April it planned to open the office in the city.

The acquisitive fund has deployed the nation's energy-generated wealth on assets ranging from British bank Barclays to Volkswagen, whose shares have slumped since the automaker said it cheated on US emissions rules.

While the fund has focused on investments in Europe, it has in recent times sought to diversify its portfolio, including earmarking about $20 billion for Asia and signing a $10 billion joint venture with China's CITIC Group Corp.

The fund "remains committed to its investments in Europe, Asia and the Middle East", it said in the statement.

Earlier this month, a hotel group founded by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund paid €222 million for Italy's Westin Excelsior hotel, one of Rome's most loved hotels.

The Qatari group, Katara Hospitality, also owns two other large luxury hotels in Italy: Milan's Excelsior Hotel Gallia and Rome's InterContinental De La Ville hotel.

The QIA is one of the most active sovereign investors in the world, snapping up assets from prime real estate such as the company that owns London's Canary Wharf financial district, to stakes in blue chip companies including Total and Credit Suisse.