Qatar wealth fund builds regional hub in Singapore to diversify

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Qatar’s $300bn sovereign wealth fund is building a regional hub in Singapore, people familiar with the matter said, as part of its efforts to diversify a portfolio weighted toward Europe and the US.

While the Qatar Investment Authority has previously done deals in the city state, a local base will help bolster its presence in the Southeast Asian nation and beyond. Abdulla Al Kuwari is now based there as head of QIA Advisory (Asia Pacific), according to his LinkedIn profile, along with Jason Chew, who is an adviser.

A representative for QIA said on Wednesday the fund has a wholly-owned advisory subsidiary in Singapore, but didn’t provide further details. Earlier this year, another representative said the subsidiary there would serve as a “springboard” for sourcing investment opportunities in the region.

The fund has vowed to invest more in Asia and the United States as it pursues growth and diversification after years of substantial investment in Europe. Asia “has been very much on our radar screen,” chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told Bloomberg earlier this year. North American deals, however, will remain a priority, he said.

In a June 2021 letter to Singapore’s corporate regulator, Qatar Investment Authority Advisory (Singapore) said it was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the QIA and asked for a change in its local name.

“To better reflect our scope of business which covers the Asia Pacific Region, and not Singapore, we propose to change our company name,” it said, nominating “Qatar Investment Authority Advisory (Asia Pacific)” as its preferred option.

Founded in 2005, the QIA ranks as the world’s 11th-largest wealth fund, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. It holds stakes in some of the world’s top companies including London Stock Exchange Group, Volkswagen AG and Glencore. The fund also participated in Chinese electric-car startup Xpeng’s funding round before its US initial public offering last year.