Qatar has pledged 5 billion pounds (US$6.3 billion) of investment in Britain in a show of support for the world’s fifth-largest economy just two days before Prime Minister Theresa May triggers formal Brexit talks, Reuters reports.
The wealthy Gulf state has 40 billion pounds of investments in the United Kingdom, including high-profile London landmarks like the Shard skyscraper, Harrods department store, The Savoy hotel and a stake in the Canary Wharf financial district.
While the June 23 referendum vote to leave the European Union took many investors and chief executives by surprise, Qatar’s top financial players used an investment conference in London to pledge support for Brexit Britain.
The head of the US$335 billion Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) sovereign wealth fund said he saw opportunities in Britain, adding that the fund was focused on infrastructure, healthcare and technology.
“I am still looking, even after Brexit there will be opportunities QIA can really hunt for,” QIA chief executive Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani told the conference. “Whenever the [British] government would like the QIA to step in we are ready.”
Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, said in a statement that Qatar expected to invest 5 billion pounds (US$6.3 billion) in Britain over the next five years.
June’s shock Brexit vote triggered the deepest political crisis in Britain since World War II and the biggest ever one-day fall in sterling against the dollar, though the economy has continued to grow.
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