Qatar plans to invest $1.3bn in Italian firms
Doha, November 20, 2012
Qatar has agreed to invest as much as one billion euros ($1.3 billion) in Italian companies, aiding efforts by Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti to breathe life into a weak economy.
A joint venture between Italy's strategic investment fund and state-owned Qatar Holding will invest in sectors including food, fashion and luxury goods, furniture and design, tourism and leisure, the Italian fund said.
The venture will have capital of up to 2 billion euros provided equally by both partners over the first four years, according to the agreement signed during Monti's visit to Qatar.
The "IQ Made in Italy Venture" will start with 300 million euros of capital.
"We have four or five ideas for investment in Italy. We are studying them at the moment," Qatari Prime Minister Shaikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said at a news conference without elaborating.
Qatar is also preparing to sign another agreement with Italy worth 1 billion euros aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, Sheikh Hamad said, adding that Qatar would participate in half that amount.
Monti's visit to the Gulf was partly aimed at attracting new investment both for Italian sovereign bonds and for companies which have had serious problems raising capital as the financial crisis has squeezed bank balance sheets and cut off lending.
"It's significant that Italy now seems to be proactive in attracting long-term institutional investors and this venture with Qatar clearly signals that," said Rachel Zeimba, senior analyst and sovereign wealth fund expert at Roubini Global Economics in London.
"It is not clear if the investments are restricted to listed companies alone but it proves that Qatar sees long-term value in sectors such as food and fashion in the country and wants to play in on these themes," she said.
Sheikh Hamad said Monti's reform drive since taking office a year ago had helped the Italian economy and been an important step in strengthening its overall economic system.
"We believe Italy is a significant partner for Qatar in Europe," he said.
Monti, called in to head an unelected technocrat government a year ago at the height of the financial crisis, has faced growing speculation about his political future after elections expected in March.-Reuters
More Finance & Capital Market Stories
- Kuwait budget spending up 8pc in April-Jan
- Thomson Reuters to host Mena IFR awards
- ADIB offers smartphone industry investment
- Gulf Finance House to start $3bn Tunisia project
- KFH completes ICT project upgrade
- Egypt urban annual inflation slows to 9.8pc
- BIBF signs deal with Palestinian institute
- Bahrain’s GDP set to expand 12pc
- KFH-Bahrain rebrands priority banking
- Bank Nizwa wins top Islamic bank award
- Qatar labour costs may jump: IMF
- Kuwait Q3 trade surplus hits $23bn
- Dubai trade growth up 7.6pc to $362bn
- Deloitte appoints new managing director
- Al Ramz tops UAE trading in Feb
- IFC in $150m loan deal with Bank Audi
- SME funding focus for Abu Dhabi forum
- Insurance House posts second year of profit
- ETF global assets hit record $2.44 trillion
- Bahrain firms plan IPOs
- Serbia wins $1bn Abu Dhabi loan
- Key equity banker resigns from Saudi Fransi
- DMCC to boost Islamic commodity trade with tie-ups
- IDB, KIA units to invest in Morocco
- First Gulf to set up $1bn sukuk in Malaysia
- Singapore’s UOB Bullion and Futures joins DGCX
- Infrastructure investment ‘key to growth’
- BKIC declares 30pc dividend
- StanChart profit falls 16pc in 2013
- Veteran Saudi banker to head AMF