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Cablegate: Qatar Investment Authority's 2010 Investment

VZCZCXRO8370
PP RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIR
DE RUEHDO #0691/01 3291144
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251144Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY DOHA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9535
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0373
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0039
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0001

QATAR INVESTMENT AUTHORITY'S 2010 INVESTMENT STRATEGY OUTLINED
Class: CONFIDENTIAL
Date: Wed Nov 25 11:44:00 2009
Key: 09DOHA691
Tags: PGOV, EFIN, EINV, AR, BR, CH


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DOHA 000691

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/24/2019
TAGS: PGOV EFIN EINV AR BR CH
SUBJECT: QATAR INVESTMENT AUTHORITY'S 2010 INVESTMENT
STRATEGY OUTLINED

Classified By: Ambassador Joseph E. LeBaron for reasons 1.4 (b and d).

--------------
(C) KEY POINTS
--------------

-- Ambassador met November 24 with Qatar Investment Authority
(QIA) xxxxxxxxxxxx to
discuss QIA's future investment strategy.

-- xxxxxxxxxxxx said that the QIA has developed a 2010
investment strategy that will focus on three areas: acquire
distressed businesses that have cash flow problems but are
otherwise healthy; invest in a broad range of commodities;
and purchase, in the second half of CY 2010, commercial real
estate in prime locations, principally in the United States
and Europe.

-- He said that the QIA was also investing in joint ventures
with agricultural companies in Argentina and Brazil.

-- QIA will not invest with hedge funds or private equity
companies in 2010, xxxxxxxxxxxx said, though this policy will
be reviewed in 2011.

End Key Points.

1. (C) At a November 24 meeting with Ambassador, Qatar
Investment Authority (QIA) xxxxxxxxxxxx outlined Qatar's investment strategy for 2010.
In response to Ambassador xxxxxxxxxxxx said that
for the first half of 2009, the QIA strategy was "to do
nothing", but after analyzing current global economic
conditions, it has developed a plan for the coming year. The
strategy will focus on three sectors.

2. (C) The first area of the QIA's investment efforts will be
the commodities sector. Ambassador asked xxxxxxxxxxxx if he
could be more specific, to which he replied that the QIA is
interested in all types of commodities - oil, gas, gold,
silver, and agricultural products. He shared his view that a
structural change is underway in the commodities sector,
strongly suggesting long-term price increases. The growth in
the middle class of emerging countries such as China and
India, for example, suggests higher food prices over the long
term.

3. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx also pointed to the weakness of the
dollar as a factor guiding its investment strategy. The QIA
predicts that the dollar will continue weakening. Even if
there is near-term economic growth in the U.S., he said, it
would raise the specter of inflation, weakening the dollar
further. All this strongly suggested investments in
commodities, including precious metals.

4. (C) In 2010 the QIA will also focus on business
acquisition. It will seek to acquire businesses with good
management and good products, but which have cash flow
problems. "We are not interested in distressed assets or
distressed debt. We are interested in distressed sellers",
xxxxxxxxxxxx said.

5. (C) The third part of the QIA's investment strategy will
be in the real estate sector. xxxxxxxxxxxx said that the QIA
has not yet begun investing heavily in real estate assets,
because it believes that prices will go lower through the
first half of 2010.

6. (C) Ambassador asked xxxxxxxxxxxx to go into more detail
concerning the types of real estate assets the QIA was
looking to acquire, and in what areas of the world.
xxxxxxxxxxxx explained that the QIA was looking for prime
commercial real estate, and expects QIA's best opportunities
to be in the U.S. and Europe. He observed that East Asia
real estate has become too expensive; there are no bargains
there. He noted, however, that the QIA was in search of
value, and that price alone would not be the determining
factor in its investment decisions.

7. (C) In discussing Asian economic growth, he noted with
approval China's ability to quickly make major spending
decisions, particularly related to large scale
infrastructure, contrasting it to the slowness he saw in the
USG's release of stimulus monies. He predicted long term
economic problems for the U.S. and Europe, which he believes
are spending too much capital supporting big banks and big
businesses and not enough to help save all the small

DOHA 00000691 002 OF 002


businesses in deep trouble.

8. (C) Ambassador asked whether the QIA intended to invest in
real estate in other regions outside the U.S. and Europe.
xxxxxxxxxxxx replied that it was starting to invest in
Brazil and Argentina, particularly in the agriculture sector.
He said that QIA was also working with some agribusinesses
in the U.S.

9. (C) Ambassador observed that Qatar has a number of
agencies making investments both domestically and abroad, and
asked xxxxxxxxxxxx to clarify their respective roles.
xxxxxxxxxxxx gave the example of Qatari Diar, which he said is
completely owned by QIA. While QIA itself focuses on
investment in established enterprises, Diar focuses on
development projects. He also pointed to groups such as
Barwa and the National Hotel Corporation, which are now also
owned by QIA but which will eventually be privatized.

10. (C) When asked by the Ambassador whether hedge funds and
private equity groups would continue to have a role in the
QIA investment plan, xxxxxxxxxxxx replied that the QIA would
not invest in them at all during 2010. He said, however,
that QIA would reconsider this position in 2011. He added
that QIA considers the leverage buyout an obsolete business
model.

LeBaron

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