Spain, Qatar eye $1bn Latam investment fund in 2017

Updated 27 November 2016
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Spain, Qatar eye $1bn Latam investment fund in 2017

DUBAI: Spain and Qatar hope to sign early next year an agreement to form a $1 billion joint investment fund that would help the Gulf state invest in Latin America, the Spanish ambassador was quoted by Qatari media as saying on Sunday.
Negotiations on the agreement have been stalled for almost a year by political uncertainty in Spain, but could resume once a new minister of trade has been appointed, Ignacio Escobar said, according to the media interview.
Mariano Rajoy was sworn in for a second term as Spain’s prime minister on Oct. 31, giving the country a fully functioning government for the first time in 10 months after two inconclusive elections and fruitless coalition talks.
Officials hope, Escobar said, that the investment deal can be signed during a high-level visit to Qatar by Spanish officials in the “first semester of 2017.”
“This is very interesting for Qatar because the QIA (Qatar Investment Authority) has said many times that they want to invest in Latin America,” Escobar said, in reference to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.
“It is a new market for them and it is full of opportunities, and Spain is the perfect gateway for Latin America.”
The QIA has in recent years been seeking to diversify its portfolio away from European assets, announcing in 2014 it would put $20 billion into Asia. In September 2015, the QIA said it would be involved in Qatari plans to invest $35 billion in the US.
Hassad Food, the agricultural arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, said in February 2015 it was looking at possible purchases of Brazilian sugar and poultry assets, although its website does not list any investments on the continent.


Dutch carrier KLM says it will halt flights to Iran

Dutch carrier KLM. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 July 2018
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Dutch carrier KLM says it will halt flights to Iran

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Dutch airline KLM says it will halt flights to Tehran “as a result of the negative results and financial outlook” following the US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear accord.
The airline, part of the Air France KLM group, made the announcement in a short statement on its website Saturday.
KLM said its last flight will leave Amsterdam on Sept. 22 and return on Sept. 23.
KLM ceased flights to Tehran in 2013, resuming them in 2016 after the nuclear deal was signed. That deal saw sanctions on Iran lifted in exchange for it limiting its enrichment of uranium.
In May, President Donald Trump pulled America from the atomic accord, imperiling it.
Air France resumed flights to Tehran in 2016 after an eight-year absence. The airline continues its flights.