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‘Investors will head to Doha next year instead of Riyadh’

Qatar's more illuminated social strategies and way to deal with press opportunities may charm it to all the more observing American and European new businesses or regions looking for capital, as per a Reuters article distributed on Tuesday. 

Writing for the news agency’s ‘Breakingviews’ section, its European Financial Editor George Hay termed Qatar an alternative to the “tainted Saudi cash”.


He expects investors to head to Doha next year instead of Riyadh, the reputation of which is now crushed following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country's consulate in Istanbul.

Qatar may be the best place for start-ups and governments attracted by the $45 billion pumped into SoftBank's Vision Fund or $20 billion destined for a Blackstone infrastructure fund from the kingdom, he wrote.

“Pivoting to Doha is less weird than it sounds. True, in June 2017 Qatar was blockaded by Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, precipitating a $30 billion non-resident funding exodus from its banking system. But Qatar switched trading partners and plonked $40 billion of reserves and overseas deposits from its central bank and sovereign wealth fund into its lenders. Already $16 billion of that has been refinanced by Asian and European banks and investors, Fitch reckons.”

Assuming Qatar can refinance the rest — which should be easier given a potential 4.7 percent budget surplus in 2018 — it would have $40 billion of spare cash, Hay argued.

He said Doha could leverage that and turn it into a Vision Fund-scale investor. “Doha's hike of liquefied natural gas production from 77 million tonnes to 110 million tonnes by 2024 could create an extra $40 billion of revenue.”

“With annual capital investment due to halve from around $27 billion as the 2022 soccer World Cup nears, the QIA could be packing serious firepower, he added

“Rather than splash out on Saudi-style adventures like mega-city NEOM, Qatar could invest in steady infrastructure assets — around Africa, for example, maybe partnering with Chinese entities. Or it could look to turn itself into a hub for gas and energy technology.”

Source: qatar-tribune

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