Wednesday, 14 October 2015

First Vinci, then Hochtief - what next for the Qataris?

So, the Qataris have raised almost a EURO 1 billion in the last week by selling stakes in European construction companies Vinci and Hochtief.

This begs the question: why is the sovereign wealth fund selling given it has been a buyer of European assets in recent years?

The Times reported last week that the Qatar Investment Authority is looking to shift its focus away from Europe to the US. Here is a link to that piece:

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/banking/article4578318.ece

However, some market participants reckon the Qataris are raising the cash to fund the massive (potential) cash calls by some of the gulf fund's existing investments, such as Glencore, Volkswagen and Credit Suisse.

And other sources believe there is a darker reason behind the recent share sales although the story hasn't been stacked up well enough to be aired yet on these pixels.

Still, traders, investors and bankers are on tenterhooks because there is an expectation the QIA could be about to pull the trigger on another massive share sale.

I wonder what that could be...

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