Qatar And Barclays In $250 Million Asset Management Deal

1 min read

The FINANCIAL — Qatar on Monday signed an asset management deal with a private equity unit of U.K.-based Barclays PLC, an agreement that will see the wealthy Gulf state co-invest $250 million, and one that reflects its broader push into commodities investing.


Qatar Asset Management Co., or QAMC, a joint venture between the Arab Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund and the Qatar Financial Centre Authority will co-invest $250 million in Barclays Natural Resource Investments', or BNRI, current and future portfolio of companies, the two companies said.

A large chunk of the $250 million will be allocated to BNRI's existing $2.1 billion portfolio of companies. BNRI will continue to source, execute, manage and exit global private equity transactions in the natural resources sectors and co-investors will be invited to participate immediately upon completion of each transaction.

A unit of U.K. listed financial services company Barclays, BNRI is a global private equity firm focused on natural resources investment in oil, gas and mining across the world in places like South America and South East Asia.

Set up in 2005 to lure the cream of the financial services industry to the Qatari capital Doha, the Qatar Financial Centre is a financial and business centre focused on attracting firms in the asset management, captive insurance and reinsurance sectors.

Shashank Srivastava, acting chief executive of the QFC Authority didn't rule out further investment by Qatar in the natural resources fund.

Qatar in recent months has emerged as a key investor in the broader commodities sector. Last week, its sovereign wealth fund disclosed it had upped its stake in Swiss-based miner Xstrata PLC (XTA.LN) to 7.2%, making it the second largest shareholder in the London-listed firm that is merging with commodities trader Glencore.

According to Borsa Italiana – London Stock Exchange Group, in rare comments last week, a senior official from Qatar's sovereign wealth fund was upbeat on the commodities sector, predicting a supply-demand gap would emerge in 2016 or 2017, pushing prices higher.

Monday's deal is also significant in that Qatar has been trying to build its asset management industry over the last few years with an aim of creating a regional financial hub to compete with Dubai and Bahrain. Yet, despite this push, the sector remains small, made up of handful of local firms and a small number of international banks that have asset management licences.

The deal makes Barclays the first international bank to have a sizeable fund management operation in Qatar.

"This strategic partnership is an important milestone in Qatar's strategy of developing an asset management hub and promoting the expansion of Qatar's financial services industry," said QFC Authority managing director Abdulrahman Ahmad Al Shaibi.



Leave a Reply