“In Sri Lanka, we do not want to start any new development or construction projects but we are looking for outright purchase of completed and implementation-ready assets as our entry strategy. We are also looking to invest in Colombo’s share market,” said Qatar Holding Head of Industrials and TMT Investments Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi.Suwaidi, who is in Colombo with his three member investment team, was addressing Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday during his courtesy call on the minister. Also present at the occasion were Commerce Department DG R.D.S. Kumararatne.
Qatar Holding LLC (QH) is the powerful global investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which is well-known and also called as the Qatar Fund. QIA is the second largest sovereign wealth fund in the Gulf Cooperation Council region after Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
QIA’s QH was established in 2006. QH invests internationally and locally in strategic private and public equity as well as in other direct investments and is considered to have a high-profile global outreach.Among QH’s diverse international holdings are the UK retailer Sainsbury, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Bank of America and Agricultural Bank of China. Its Credit Suisse stake is reportedly 6 percent.“We started to work closely with Sri Lanka in the aftermath of war in 2009-2010. We are under a sovereign wealth fund but very much of a commercial operation, looking for the best RoI for our investors. Around 85 percent of our portfolio consists of overseas investments, while the rest is concentrated on Qatar.
We have investments in 30 countries. Our equity is from Qatari citizens’ savings and therefore, we are responsible to report back best returns for them,” said QH’s Al Suwaidi.He added, “In Sri Lanka, we do not want to start any new development or construction projects but we are looking at outright purchase of completed and implementationready assets as our entry strategy to the country. We are also ready to invest in Colombo’s share market and mostly prefer to deal with Sri Lanka’s large corporates, rather than medium or small-scale firms.
We are interested in buying completed real estates and properties For example, a completed resort hotel here or some such finished real estate projects. Specially, we are keen on shopping malls and shopping arcades ready for implementation. Our minimum overseas investments rounds are US $ 100 – US $ 150 million per project and not less. We are even ready for higher values.When it comes to investment projects, QIA has lots of interest in Sri Lanka’s tourism infrastructure, as well as government/publicowned institutions such as state-owned business enterprises put up for sale to the private investors.”
Qatar is the world’s richest country. The wide availability of oil and gas reserves has made Qatar the world’s highest per-capita income country. In 2013, the State of Qatar topped World Bank’s GDP per capita (on purchasing power parity-PPP) list, with a per capita value of US $ 131758. In 2013, QatarSri Lanka bilateral trade stood at US $ 66 million.