Qatar “Soft Power” pursuit in New York

The Big Apple

The Big Apple

According to the Wall Street Journal  of 28 September 2015, Qatar’s $300 billion sovereign-wealth fund opened an office in New York as the wealthy Persian Gulf state steps up its international presence expansion.

The Qatar Investment Authority was set up in 2005 with the objective to direct Qatar’s mainly gas-exports related financial resources towards placements in lucrative property acquisition / development in the world, said an executive at the official opening of their office in Manhattan, New York back in September.  In the U.S, he added, by declaring that the Authority would invest $35bn in the US over the next five years.

The QIA’s move comes as it and other sovereign-wealth funds from around the Gulf region and across the world grapple with lower energy prices while diversifying their holdings globally.

Qatar Investment Authority backs $8.6bn New York development

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has lately entered with a 44 % stake into a development of a $8.6bn Manhattan West mixed-use building project in New York in a joint venture with a subsidiary of Brookfield Property Partners.

“This joint venture is an example of our strategy to invest in high-quality real estate with strong partners.  It is also a further demonstration of QIA’s long-term confidence in the US market,” said QIA CEO Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani.

Manhattan West is a mix-use five-building project set on the west side of Manhattan on an urban plot of 650,000m².  It includes stand alone as well twin towers of 60 to 67 storey, each with 185,800 m² of office / residential and commercial / leisure space and external amenities and  soft landscaping scheduled for completion in 2018 / 2019.

The development in the heart of New York City, to the west of Pennsylvania Station and stretching towards the Hudson River where railroad yards once stood means for the NY local authorities materialisation of a plan to redevelop the whole of the industrial Hudson Yards area, and extend the midtown business district.

It also for the QIA, an investment that comes at a time when many sovereign wealth funds have been putting money into real estate at an earlier stage than in the past so as to taking on development risk in pursuit of better returns.