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Qatar wealth fund to open New York office as U.S. portfolio grows

The Qatar Investment Authority is one of the most active sovereign investors in the world

DUBAI, April 30 (Reuters) – The Qatar Investment Authority, the Gulf Arab state’s acquisitive sovereign wealth fund, is setting up an office in New York to manage its growing portfolio in the United States, according to remarks carried by the state news agency.

The fund is one of the most active sovereign investors in the world, snapping up stakes in everything from real estate to luxury goods. It led a consortium this year to secure control of the company that owns London’s Canary Wharf financial district in a $4 billion deal.

Much of its activity has traditionally been in Europe but the fund has said it is looking to diversify into Asia and the United States, announcing last year a plan to spend $20 billion in Asian investments over the next five years.

“HE (His Excellency) Ambassador Mohammed bin Jaham al-Kuwari revealed the Qatar Investment Authority’s plans to open an office in New York in order to manage the growing investment portfolio in the U.S. market,” the Qatar News Agency (QNA) said of a lunch held with 15 U.S. companies with operations in Qatar.

It did not disclose when the lunch took place, or any details about the fund’s investments in the United States.

In the speech, the ambassador added Qatar would continue its current pace of spending on major projects related to health, education, railways, infrastructure and projects relating to hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup, according to QNA.

Government spending across the Gulf Arab region is being watched in the wake of the fall in oil prices since the middle of last year, although most governments have said they will continue to maintain public spending at or above recent levels. (Reporting by David French; Editing by Mark Potter)