Qatar’s Wealth Fund Expands In China, Eyes New Investments

The fund is best known for European investments including the acquisition of London department store Harrods.



Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s most aggressive investors, is keen to invest in China’s property, infrastructure and healthcare sectors, Chief Executive Ahmed Al-Sayed said on Tuesday.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which is estimated to have around $170 billion, is also expanding its Beijing office amid plans to invest between $15 billion and $20 billion in Asia in the next five years, Al-Sayed said.

The fund is also considering investments in the consumer and service industry and tech, media and telecommunications sector, he said, and emphasized that QIA would look at any promising investment.

Al-Sayed, known as a savvy negotiator and aggressive dealmaker, took the helm at QIA in 2013 when the newly-crowned emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, shook up the investment vehicle as part of his restructuring of the Qatari state on his father’s abdication.

Sources told Reuters last year that the fund was hiring bankers and executives with an aim of diversifying its portfolio, which had nearly 80 percent exposure to Europe.

“We’ve just done a deal in Europe, and we’ll continue doing deals in Europe,” Al-Sayed told reporters at an investment forum the fund was hosting in Beijing on Tuesday. “But as a global fund, also we need to diversify asset allocations and geographical location but we will continue in Europe, of course.”

The fund is best known for European investments including the acquisition of London department store Harrods and a significant stake in the firm that runs London’s Heathrow airport.