Optimism in Qatar after Credit Suisse deal

Doha QatarA joint venture between Credit Suisse and the state of Qatar to create an asset management firm, Aventicum Capital Management, has inspired optimism in the country’s asset management sector. The new company will establish an office in Doha, Qatar, focused on investments in the Middle East, Turkey and frontier markets in early 2013. Another office outside the Middle East region will follow later in the year. “Our objectives are to establish asset management on the ground in Qatar and to see assets under management grow,” says Shashank Srivastava, chief executive of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority. “With this deal our objectives have been met. It’s the perfect example.” The deal is between Credit Suisse and Qatar Holding, the investment division of the Qatar sovereign wealth fund which part-owns Credit Suisse. The Doha office of Aventicum will be licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a financial zone in the Gulf state that allows 100% foreign owned companies to be established. The QFC has licensed more than 166 entities since the centre was established in 2005 and about 135 of these are active, says Srivastava. Qatar would like to be the jurisdiction of choice for asset managers operating in the Middle East and is competing against rival jurisdictions including Dubai and Bahrain, which have both been established longer. Srivastava spoke to Funds Europe at the Mena Investment Management Forum in Doha, Qatar. Yousef Hussain Kamal, the minister of economy and finance in Qatar, opened the forum with a speech in which he noted that the Qatari economy had grown 16 times in a little over a decade. “Should we stop here? Not at all,” said the minister, through an interpreter. The minister went on to say that he hoped the income from investments made by Qatar Holding would by 2020 equal the annual expenditure of the Qatari state. ©2012 funds europe

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