Qatar sovereign fund to invest $35 billion in US

Updated 28 September 2015

Qatar sovereign fund to invest $35 billion in US

DUBAI: Qatar’s government investment fund is making a big bet on the US economy.

Qatar Investment Authority said it is opening an office in New York and is committed to investing $35 billion in the US over the next five years.
The announcement represents a major vote of confidence by the sovereign wealth fund in the US.
The new office will give the fund better access to investment partners and help it pursue its goal of diversifying its portfolio, the QIA said.
“With boots on the ground, our presence in New York will anchor our interest in the region,” Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Thani, the fund’s CEO, said in a statement.
“It is the perfect location to help strengthen our existing relationships and promote new partnerships as we continue to expand geographically, diversify our assets and seek long term growth.”
The fund, founded in 2005, and other Qatari government-linked investors traditionally have invested heavily in Europe, snapping up headline-grabbing trophies such as stakes in prominent London properties and the Paris Saint-Germain soccer team.
Well-known names in the QIA portfolio include Britain’s iconic Harrods department store, stakes in banks Barclays and Credit Suisse, and a chunk of the company that runs London’s Heathrow Airport.
The fund is also a major investor in Volkswagen AG. That investment that has lost billions of dollars in value in recent days as the German automaker’s share price plunged after it admitted rigging diesel emissions to pass US tests.
The QIA’s existing American holdings include a more than 10-percent stake in New York-based luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co.
Qatar Airways, meanwhile, has been rapidly expanding the number of routes it flies to US cities, provoking a backlash from American carriers.
Washington considers Qatar an important ally in the Arab world.
The country’s vast Al-Udeid air base outside the capital, Doha, hosts American bombers, support aircraft and the forward headquarters for US Central Command.
The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute estimates the QIA manages some $256 billion in investments.

Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

Updated 15 February 2019

Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

  • Saudi Arabia and UAE initiatives ‘driving forward industrial defense capabilities’
  • Budgets are increasing as countries pursue modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities

LONDON: Defense spending by Gulf Arab states is expected to rise to more than $110 billion by 2023, driven partly by localized military initiatives by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a report has found.

Budgets are increasing as countries pursue the modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities, according to a report by analytics firm Jane’s by IHS Markit.

Military expenditure in the Gulf will increase from $82.33 billion in 2013 to an estimated $103.01 billion in 2019, and is forecast to continue trending upward to $110.86 billion in 2023.

“Falling energy revenues between 2014 and 2016 led to some major procurement projects being delayed as governments reigned in budget deficits,” said Charles Forrester, senior defense industry analyst at Jane’s.

“However, defense was generally protected from the worst of the spending cuts due to regional security concerns and budgets are now growing again.”

Major deals in the region have included Eurofighter Typhoon purchases by countries including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia is also looking to “localize” 50 percent of total government military spending in the Kingdom by 2030, and in 2017 announced the launch of the state-owned military industrial company Saudi Arabia Military Industries.

Forrester said such moves will boost the ability for Gulf countries to start exporting, rather than purely importing defense equipment.

“Within the defense sector, the establishment of Saudi Arabia Military Industries (SAMI) in 2017 and consolidation of the UAE’s defense industrial base through the creation of Emirates Defense Industries Company (EDIC) in 2014 have helped consolidate and drive forward industrial defense capabilities,” he said.

“This has happened as the countries focus on improving the quality of the defense technological work packages they undertake through offset, as well as increasing their ability to begin exporting defense equipment.”

Regional countries are also considering the use of “disruptive technologies” such as artificial intelligence in defense, Forrester said.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Friday that worldwide outlays on weapons and defense rose 1.8 percent to more than $1.67 trillion in 2018.

The US was responsible for almost half that increase, according to “The Military Balance” report released at the Munich Security Conference and quoted by Reuters.

Western powers were concerned about Russia’s upgrades of air bases and air defense systems in Crimea, the report said, but added that “China perhaps represents even more of a challenge, as it introduces yet more advanced military systems and is engaged in a strategy to improve its forces’ ability to operate at distance from the homeland.”