Browsing 'qatar holding' News

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Scrapping plans to sell itself off, Blackberry Ltd. announced this week that it has fired its CEO and plans to stay afloat by raising $1 billion from a collection of investors – which apparently includes Qatar Holding.

According to Reuters, which cites a source familiar with the matter, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has bought some $200 million of the offering, while BB’s largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holding, has invested $250 million.

Under the convertible debt offering, investors could opt to convert their loan (which would be paid back with interest) into a stake in BB.

Canada-based Blackberry, while popular among many Qatar residents, has been struggling financially in recent months due to eroding market share from services like WhatsApp.

However, the company did see a surge in interest last month after the (delayed) launch of the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) on Android and Apple iOS phones, attracting 20 million users in the first week.

Despite the surge in interest, its stock continues to drop, as uncertainty over new leadership looms over the company.

Thoughts?

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Qatar Holding has agreed to sell its stake in luxury automaker Porsche back to the Porsche and Piëch families for an undisclosed sum, the wealth fund has announced.

The move comes four years after Qatar became the Germany-based company’s third-largest shareholder. In August 2009, as the automaker struggled to manage billions of dollars in debt after acquiring Volkswagen, Porsche agreed to sell a stake to an outsider for the first time.

Compromise

Qatar Holding committed some $10 billion to making the merger happen, the New York Times previously reported. Though the deal eventually failed, both Porsche and VW are now part of the Integrated Automotive Group, and Qatar has been credited with helping to make that happen.

The sovereign wealth fund still owns a 17 percent stake in VW, while the Porsche and Piech have a 51 percent stake in the company.

Reuters reports:

“This transaction results as a logical step after the creation of the Integrated Automotive Group between Volkswagen and Porsche AG as finalized in 2012,” Qatar Holding said in the statement…

The Integrated Automotive Group to which the Qatar statement refers is the group of brands which now make up Volkswagen’s global business after it came to terms with Porsche after several years of wrangling.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Javier Estraviz

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Some 36 Qataris have been ranked in the 2013 Arabian Business Power 500, a list of the region’s most influential Arabs.

Qatar Holding chief Ahmad Al Sayed is the highest-ranking Qatari, at No.7. Arabian Business reports:

As head of Qatar Holding, a subsidiary of  Qatar Investment Authority, Al Sayed is the man whose nod means everything. Among the investments that Qatar Holding has been involved with during 2012 are: a 20 percent investment in Ferrovial, a one percent stake in luxury goods behemoth LVMH and an undisclosed chunk of Credit Suisse. The firm also played a key role in the biggest merger of last year, between Glencore and Xstrata. Expect Al Sayed to be just as busy this year.

Neither of the two Qatari men who made it to the top 10 last year feature in this year’s index. Mohammad Bin Hammam, who in 2012 was president of the Asian Football Federation, formerly ranked No.3 and Wadah Khanfar, then director general of the Al Jazeera Network, was No.6.

Other locals who made it to the top 100 this year include Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways (24th); Bader Al Darwish, chairman of Darwish Holding (63rd); and Hisham Al Mana, head of leading automotive distributors Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co. (77th).

This year’s index also features a record 118 women, three of them Qatari. They include ICTQatar head Dr. Hessa Al Jaber (232th), Qatariat founder Buthaina Al Ansari (357th); and nuclear scientist Dr. Ilham Al Qaradawi (463rd).

For the ninth year in a row, the top spot in the ranking went to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed, chairman of Kingdom Holding and one the world’s wealthiest people.

Olympic double gold champion Mo Farah (3rd) and Twitter operations chief Mazen Rawashdeh (5th) also featured.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo of Ahmad Al Sayed courtesy of Qatar Holding

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that some Arabs who made the list reside in Qatar, but are not nationals.