Ex-Prime Minister loses post as chairman of Qatar Investment Authority

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Qatar’s new Emir has appointed 37-year-old lawyer Ahmad Al Sayed as the new CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority, replacing former prime minister and foreign minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, QNA reports.

Al Sayed has served as the chief executive of Qatar Holding, QIA’s direct investment arm, for the past four years and is widely seen as Al Thani’s protege, Financial Times reports. 

At No.7, he was also the highest-ranking Qatari in the 2013 Arabian Business Power 500, a list of some of the region’s most influential Arabs.

According to FT, the new appointment “seals the demise” of “HBJ,” ending uncertainty over whether he would continue to have any role in the country’s new government.

Last week, the charismatic politician was replaced by Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani as prime minister and Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah as foreign minister.

Some analysts assert that the ousting of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, the right-hand man of the former Emir, was motivated by a desire to remove any potential rivals standing between Sheikh Tamim and his newfound authority, Reuters reports:

“Hbj (Hamad bin Jassim) was very good at business. He was kept busy. He knew how to deliver a deal. His strength was that he knew everyone and had a network. He provided money at a time when the emir didn’t have much,” said (Saad Djebbar, an Algerian lawyer who knows Qatar well).

“Now, the new emir comes without any baggage. And he has plenty of money. He has no constraints. The old emir will still have a vision and power. He will stand behind the (new) emir. And he believes that the vision will guide his son.”

Other appointments to the QIA include Qatar’s Emir as chairman; Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir’s half-brother, as vice-chairman; Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani, the central bank governor, and Finance Minister Ali Al Emadi, as board members, and two other men.

More reshuffling

Also on Tuesday, Sheikh Tamim restructured the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment, which gathers together the ministers of Energy and Industry; Finance; and Economy and Trade, as well as the governor of the Qatar Central Bank, the Economic Advisor of the Emiri Diwan and representatives from QIA and Qatar Development Bank.

The Emir will preside over the council, and his prime minister (who also serves as interior minister) will serve as vice chairman.

And finally, Awqaf has restructured the Shawwal and Ramadan Crescent Moon Sighting Committee, appointing Dr. Thagil bin Sayer Al Shammari as Chairman of the Committee and Ahmed bin Ali Hajar as Deputy Chairman of the Committee.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of Qatar Consultancy

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