Qatar Investment Authority cannot exit Russian market



DOHA May 24 (Reuters) - The Qatar Investment Authority cannot exit the Russian market and is waiting to assess its position there because of the Ukraine crisis, one of the sovereign wealth fund's chief investment officers said on Tuesday.

Moscow placed restrictions on foreign investors trading Russian assets in March, saying it wanted to ensure decisions to exit were considered and not driven by political pressure, after Russia sent troops into Ukraine.

"We can't do much in Russia...We have to really assess where to stand on those opportunities there. I think it is a very difficult position for us, being an investor with one name,” said Ahmed Ali Al-Hammadi, QIA’s chief investment officer for Europe, Russia and Turkey said in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum.

QIA owns a 19% stake in Russian state-backed oil giant Rosneft, which Al-Hammadi said is the fund's only holding "of significance" in Russia.

"We can't (exit). All foreign investors are restricted from exiting," Al-Hammadi said.

In March, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's second biggest sovereign fund, announced it was pausing investments in Russia because of the Ukraine crisis.

Qatar’s $300 billion sovereign wealth fund, which owns stakes in the London Stock Exchange and Iberdrola SA, has been diversifying its investments away from European markets, which Al-Hammadi said historically represent its biggest exposure.

Nevertheless, the fund is still eyeing smaller European opportunities.

"We're looking at new, emerging, I would say growth-state tech companies. Some of them are quite small and fly below our radar, but we believe that we're seeing a lot of determination from countries like France, Germany, Italy," he said, adding that government support for such companies is appealing.

QIA also sees opportunities in Turkey, especially in companies that are able to mitigate their currency exposure, he said.

Losses this month have pushed Turkey's lira back towards the record lows of 18.4 against the dollar which it hit in December after a series of interest rate cuts.

Fintech and companies investing in the energy transition represent the biggest investment opportunities for QIA, Al-Hammadi said. Though the cryptocurrency market is "too big to ignore" it is too early for institutional investors to get directly involved, Al-Hammadi said.

Instead, QIA is considering investments in the technology underlying the market, such as blockchain and exchanges, he said.
Reporting and writing by Andrew Mills in Doha, Editing by Louise Heavens

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.