KAFD partners with SCAI to implement new smart city project 

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RIYADH: Qatar Investment Authority has partnered with UK-based Ashmore Group to launch a $200-million fund aimed at encouraging foreign investors to tap the country’s stock market. 

The Ashmore Qatar Equity Fund was established with the authority as an anchor investor by reallocating shares in listed companies in the country, according to a press statement. 

The reserve’s launch is a part of QIA’s Active Asset Management Initiative, and Ashmore Group has become its first partner. 

“The collaboration with leading asset managers such as Ashmore is expected to catalyze investments in key economic projects, foster wealth creation, enhance the overall economic landscape, and improve liquidity on the Qatar Stock Exchange,” said QIA in the statement.

It added: “QIA is committed to supporting and developing Qatar’s local economy and is engaged in a number of initiatives to enhance liquidity in the market, improve price discovery, and diversify Qatar’s capital markets.” 

The sovereign wealth firm further noted that this initiative will equip foreign and local investors with exposure to the country’s economy and access to Ashmore’s investment expertise.

QIA was established in 2005 to protect and grow Qatar’s financial assets and help diversify the economy. 

As of July 2023, the QIA has an estimated $475 billion worth of acquisitions under management, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. 

On Jan. 15, QIA CEO Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud stated that tech and healthcare will be key focus sectors for the fund in 2024. 

Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Al-Mahmoud highlighted QIA’s interest in enterprise software, digitalization, and companies that embed AI into their business models. 

He added that QIA expects the global healthcare sector to benefit from the efficiencies enabled by artificial intelligence technologies and increased government spending to help aging populations.

According to Al-Mahmoud, the US remains QIA’s biggest investment market. Still, he added that he sees opportunities elsewhere, especially in Japan and Europe, where he considers valuation attractive.

“We have a long-term strategy and solid asset allocation, and we are going to remain on the same trajectory,” he added. 

The CEO further highlighted that 2024 is expected to bring clarity to the fight against inflation, adding that QIA would continue to closely monitor global developments and actions taken by central governments on interest rates. 

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