In a surprise move, Qatar has announced the formation of a new $12 billion investment firm that it plans to make public within months.
The company, Doha Global Investment, will invest in assets around the world with the help of some $3 billion from the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Holding. But it will operate independently from that group, officials told reporters yesterday.
Another $3 billion will be raised through a share sale to Qataris, with an initial public offering planned for as early as May or June, Bloomberg reports. And some $6 billion is expected to be raised at a later date, likely in part from foreign investors, Reuters states.
Analysts have been quick to point out the implications of the new fund – namely, that more of Qatar’s investment choices will be up for public scrutiny.
As a monarchy accustomed to moving quickly, this could “cramp Qatar’s style,” argues Una Gulani for Reuters. “This new fund won’t allow Qatar to decide when to step out of the shadows,” she adds.
But the fund could also prove beneficial to the local population, one analyst interviewed by the news wire said:
“Listing a company of this magnitude will stimulate more wealth distribution down the line. It will give Qataris a chance to be part of the country’s growth and will bring in sophisticated foreign investors once it’s listed,” said R. Seetharaman, chief executive of Doha Bank.
Credit: Photo by Sam Agnew