DOHA, (Reuters) – Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), one of the world’s largest sovereign funds, may invest in local real estate development Katara and national carrier Qatar Airways as it supports local projects, its chief executive was quoted as saying.
“Katara is in the pipeline and Qatar Airways could be the next one,” the Gulf Times quoted Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani as saying in a speech late on Wednesday.
Katara is a major real estate development in Doha which includes theatres, galleries and restaurants and venues. Qatar’s economy has been hit this year by an economic boycott imposed by other Arab states on Doha in June.
Sheikh Abdullah did not clarify his plans for Qatar Airways. The airline is already owned by the government, so his comments may have referred to a fresh injection of capital into Qatar Airways, whose business has been hurt by the boycott.
He said QIA was trying to form a strategy to support many state organisations. Other Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia are also mobilising their sovereign wealth funds to aid the domestic economy as low oil prices pressure state finances.
“We will be supporting them financially, we will support them in their organisations, provide them human capital,” Sheikh Abdullah was quoted as saying.
He referred to a “new strategy” for allocating QIA’s money that allowed it to cope with crises such as the boycott and also to seize new business opportunities.
“This allows you to move your liquidity from one place to another,” he said. In the months after the boycott, QIA deposited billions of dollars in Qatari banks to offset the imapct of the other Arab states withdrawing money from them.
(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Andrew Torchia and William Maclean)