QIA’s (Qatar Investment Authority) CEO Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud hinted at investment in football being an increasingly attractive proposition during an interview with Bloomberg during the World Economic Forum last week. Al-Mahmoud said that QIA’s interests also range from finance to technology, via fintech and sustainability.
Al-Mahmoud conceded to challenging times ahead with inflation as the overarching global concern despite central banks best efforts to contain it by raising interest rates. He expects the slowdown in Europe and the US to persist for most of the year, and growth to resume by the end of the year, early 2024.
The downturn is an opportunity for QIA to reposition and add to their portfolio, targeting investments in Asia, the US, and Europe. As an already sizeable investor in Twitter, Al-Mahmoud reiterated his faith in Elon Musk’s leadership in spite of volatility, adding “he has our trust”.
QIA will be investing across the board in technology with their sights set on blockchain technology vs cryptocurrency. The CEO pointed to the rise of digitalization, “We are long-term investors, so even if we expect a correction in the market (…) overall, we take a long-term view”.
From the technology behind it to the infrastructure, renewables and sustainability were fields in which Al-Mahmoud stressed QIA would continue to be very active, expressing a desire to play a role in the global energy transition.
Financial institutions constitute an important pilar in QIA’s portfolio which Al-Mahmoud explains they aim to keep balanced “so investing in a financial institution will always be a theme for us, but we are also moving into Fintech”, an increasingly important theme for QIA.
When Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua asked if QIA were interested in “buying a large stake in a UK football club”, Al-Hassan admitted that football clubs were increasingly adopting business models that are very investment-friendly with funds and sovereign wealth funds increasingly investing in clubs, “sport is becoming another important theme (…) so it would not be surprising if we did” he added without giving away which club QIA might be leaning towards.