DUBAI, March 28 Qatari Diar, the property arm of
Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, is eyeing investments in emerging
markets this year, the company's chief executive said on
The property firm, whose worldwide portfolio includes 49
projects valued at over $39 billion, has been on a buying spree
in Europe as part of the Gulf Arab state's strategy of employing
its natural gas riches to diversify its income flows.
"We are always looking for opportunities around the
world....I can say that we are now looking into the emerging
markets," said Mohammed Hedfa, the group CEO for Qatari Diar
told reporters in the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.
He declined to name which specific countries.
Qatari Diar pushed aggressively into Europe last year, most
recently buying the athletes' village in London's Olympic park
for $906 million along with U.K developer Delancey Estates.
Other investments include funding the redevelopment of
London's Chelsea Barracks and the building of the Shard
skyscraper. In the U.K, it also invested in the Harrods
department store and the U.S. embassy site in Grosvenor Square.
Diar has no plans to issue a bond this year and will not
need any external sources of funding for its projects, Hedfa
"For our projects, we are part of the sovereign fund....so
we don't need to raise any money from external sources," he
Qatari Diar made its first significant investment in the
U.S. property market last April with a $700 million deal to
build a development in Washington DC. Hedfa said it was actively
looking at other opportunities in the United States.
The company cut staff and reduced costs last year in a
strategy shift, as it began a process to decide whether to be a
property developer or an investment company.
""We are concentrating now on real estate development," said
Hedfa, adding that all the company's recent investments have
been in the real estate sector.
Hedfa said the company will be hiring more staff this year
following the cuts seen in 2011.
"We start to be selective with our projects and definitely
we need to be more selective with our team. Hopefully we'll
start to recruit soon because we have more projects coming."