QIA’s CEO also stated that despite the commotion surrounding the US billionaire’s takeover of Twitter Inc., the fund supports Elon Musk’s vision for the company.
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is searching for opportunities in venture capital, fintech, and sustainability, a top official said.
The Gulf state’s wealth fund is eyeing investments across Europe, Asia, and the US, targeting various industries, QIA Chief Executive Officer Mansoor Al Mahmoud said during an interview with Bloomberg Television in Davos.
“It’s a challenging time. Inflation is the main topic for the global economy,” he said. “We see this as an opportunity to reposition our portfolio. We highlight the weaknesses we have in our portfolio and we wait for these sort of corrections in the market to fulfill the weaknesses we have.”
Despite a decline in global deal volume and a reduction in bank lending for acquisitions last year, sovereign wealth funds from the GCC remained active acquirers.
In order to support RWE AG’s acquisition of US renewable assets, QIA decided to invest €2.4 billion ($2.5 billion) in the German utility in October. It has also invested in a number of tech startups and was a key investor in the initial public offering of sports car manufacturer Porsche AG.
The QIA, which is known for its preference for ‘trophy assets’, supported lenders like Barclays Plc and Credit Suisse Group AG during the financial crisis of 2008. While a more recent focus on privately held tech companies has brought it to growth markets, the rising cost of energy is giving it even more motivation to return to large-scale transactions.
Investment in financial institutions “will always be a theme for us” as they remain a “very important pillar” in QIA’s portfolio,” added Al Mahmoud. “We’re expanding into fintech as well.”
After Qatar successfully hosted the World Cup, the fund is also thinking about investing in football clubs, according to Al Mahmoud, but it hasn’t decided whether to move forward with any particular investment.
“This is a very commercially driven decision,” he said. “Sport is becoming a very important theme as well; people are engaged more in sports and digitalisation is making it more attractive to investors.”
Bloomberg News earlier reported, Qatar is pursuing elite Premier League clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool FC, and Tottenham Hotspur.
Separately, Al Mahmoud stated that despite the commotion surrounding the US billionaire’s takeover of Twitter Inc., the fund supports Elon Musk’s vision for the company.
“We engage with the management, with Elon in terms of the plan that he has for the company, and we believe in this, and we trust his leadership in terms of turning around the company,” he said.
Since the fund isn’t involved “to that extent,” according to the QIA, the Twitter CEO hasn’t been asked to minimise his tweeting.
“He has our trust and we’re sure that he would manage it very professionally.”