According to a recent Bloomberg report, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is undergoing its biggest overhaul since 2014, grouping $100 billion of investments in local companies into a new unit and abandoning the Qatar Holding name synonymous with its highest-profile deals.
About $100 billion of the Qatar Investment Authority’s stakes in companies such as Qatar Airways and Qatar National Bank SAQ will be placed into a new internal division named Qatar Investments, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The fund is seeking to bring greater oversight by having a single person in charge, the people said.
The Qatar Holding name, under which the emirate gained an international profile after investing in companies ranging from Glencore Plc to Barclays Plc will now be replaced by the QIA name on international investments, the people said. The country isn’t planning to allocate any new money to the QIA this year or withdraw funds and has asked it to rely on asset sales or dividend income for new investments, one of the people said.
The changes are among the biggest initiatives undertaken by the fund since Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed bin Saud al Thani was appointed chief executive officer in 2014. Under Shaikh Abdulla, the fund is boosting its focus on Asia and the US as it seeks to diversify the geographic location of its assets.
Under former CEO Shaikh Hamad bin Jassim al Thani, who was also Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, the QIA embarked on an international acquisition spree that included buying trophy assets like London department store Harrods and the Shard office tower. Since his departure in 2013, some of the bets have unravelled. Shares in Glencore, in which the QIA is the largest investor, plunged 55 per cent over the past year while Volkswagen AG, in which the fund is the third-largest investor, have fallen 39 per cent.
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