Qatar sets up $1 billion energy infrastructure fund

Reuters, Monday 20 May 2013

Sovereign wealth fund to invest in greenfield and existing projects in Middle East, North Africa and parts of Far East

Three Qatari state-backed entities, including the Gulf Arab nation's acquisitive sovereign wealth fund, are setting up a $1 billion fund to invest in overseas energy infrastructure assets.

The new fund will be run by Qatar Holding, Qatar Petroleum International QATPE.UL and Qatar Electricity and Water Company QEWC.QA (QEWC), a bourse filing from QEWC said on Monday.

A country with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and backed by its huge hydrocarbon wealth, Qatar has been snapping up assets globally.

The fund will invest outside Qatar "in the fields of power generation, water desalination and treatment, heating and cooling systems, provision of fuel as well as fuel loading and unloading equipment," QEWC said in the statement.

The new company, to be called Nebras Power and will be 60 percent owned by QEWC, with 20 percent held by QPI and 20 percent by Qatar Holding, a separate statement issued later on Monday said.

"Its initial capital will be $1 billion, with the idea to provide power outside Qatar," Qatari Energy Minister Mohammed Saleh al-Sada told a news conference.

"We will focus on the Middle East and parts of the Far East, including North Africa, where we feel there are opportunities for investment. This will include both greenfield and existing projects," QEWC General Manager Fahad al-Mohannadi said.

Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the sovereign wealth fund, has bought up a string of high-profile assets, ranging from French football club Paris Saint-Germain to stakes in German sports-car maker Porsche (PSHG_p.DE), British bank Barclays (BARC.L) and Swiss lender Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX).

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