Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund creates new $100bn unit

The fund will also abandon the Qatar Holding name, according to reports

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Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is reportedly abandoning the Qatar Holding name and grouping $100bn of investments in local companies into a new unit, in its biggest overhaul since 2014.

Sources told Bloomberg that $100bn of Qatar Investment Authority stakes in Qatar Airways, Qatar National Bank and other companies will be placed into a new internal division named Qatar Investments.

Former Qatari diplomat in the US Ahmed Al-Rumaihi will head the unit, which is designed to bring the investments under greater oversight.

In addition, the Qatar Holding name, which has become associated with investments in companies including Glencore and Barclays, will be abandoned and replaced by QIA on international investments, the sources said.

Despite these changes, QIA is not expected to be allocated any new money this year and will be asked to withdraw funds or rely on asset sales or dividend income for new investments, they were quoted as saying.

QIA declined to comment, according to the news service.

Bloomberg said the changes were among the biggest undertaken at Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund since royal family member Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud Al Thani was appointed chief executive officer in 2014.

Since then, the fund has shifted its focus to Asia and the US to diversify its assets.

The new changes have also seen other hires, sources told the news service, with former Citigroup Alternative Investments chief financial officer Phil Dunne recently taking the CFO position at the fund.

Ole Christian Frøseth is the new head of fixed income and QIA recruited Darren Winstone from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority as its new head of passive investments, its external fund managers unit, in April.

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is the ninth largest in the world with more than $250bn of assets, according to Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

In 2015, the fund opened an office in New York and revealed plans to invest $35bn in the US over the next five years.