Qatar considers investing $3b into Pakistan

Qatar considers investing $3b into Pakistan

by Pakistan News
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  • Qatar fund considering investment in Pakistan’s key economic sectors.
  • Gulf state to invest in the country’s airports and hospitality sectors.
  • PM Shehbaz is in Qatar ahead of IMF’s executive board meeting.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is mulling investing $3 billion into Pakistan’s economy, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, as the cash-strapped country seeks urgent financial assistance.

The publication reported that Qatar’s $445 billion sovereign wealth fund was currently assessing the strategic investments in the key economic sectors of the South Asian nation.

It added that people familiar with the matter said that the investments might be in Pakistan’s “main airports in Islamabad and Karachi, as well as in the renewable energy, power and hospitality sectors”.

The publication, citing an official, added that the QIA investments could partly overlap with the $2 billion in bilateral support Qatar has already planned for Pakistan.

“The fund may end up investing more or less than $3 billion depending on the asset valuations and opportunities, the people said, without sharing a time frame.”

Qatar’s support comes as Pakistan desperately seeks to shore up its foreign reserves and avoid default. The country’s currency is continuously losing ground against the dollar and inflation is constantly on the rise.

PM Shehbaz to offer shares in SOEs

A day earlier, sources told Reuters that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is currently visiting Qatar, was expected to offer Qatar shares in state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including the loss-making Pakistan International Airlines and the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.

He was also expected to offer the opportunity to manage Pakistan’s airports and hoped to secure energy deals, aides said.

Moreover, Pakistan, a major importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, also hoped to seek a deferred payment plan for the LNG bought under long-term deals.

Pakistan has two long-term LNG supply deals with Qatar to provide up to nine cargoes a month.

Meanwhile, during a meeting held with Ameer of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani earlier today, both countries agreed to promote cooperation in different sectors.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a meeting with Ameer of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. — PM Office
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a meeting with Ameer of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. — PM Office

During the meeting matters pertaining to bilateral and mutual interests were also discussed.

PM Shehbaz is in Qatar ahead of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board meeting — scheduled to take place on August 29 in Washington for considering Pakistan’s request for reviving the stalled loan programme.

The Fund had asked Pakistan to bridge a $4 billion financing gap and Pakistan was able to get friendly countries — Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar — to help meet the requirement.

Saudia Arabia will provide $1 billion in oil financing to the South Asian nation and the UAE will give a similar amount to the country.

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