- We understand that QInvest has become the leading investment bank inside Qatar. Beyond Qatar, however, what has been your most innovative new product launch?
While most of our activities are concentrated in Qatar, we are also increasingly taking advantage of opportunities outside Qatar. QInvest’s real estate unit currently focuses largely on transactions across selected cities in the region, Europe and the United States — where our network and knowledge base is strongest. However, recently QInvest has taken its in-house expertise and applied it to a fast-developing nearby market: Turkey. Through our partnership with RE-PIE, QInvest has launched a fund directed at Turkish commercial properties that have lease agreements with tenants denominated in foreign currencies (primarily the US dollar). The fund has assembled a collection of grade A properties, including an Embassy, which offers reliable returns. This Turkish-focused fund has attracted a range of institutional interest – including that of Turkish pension funds, which have recently been mandated to invest 5% of their capital in alternative assets (such as real estate).
- What is your largest fund size launched to-date, and does it involve an international dimension beyond Qatar?
Our largest series of funds is a joint one, totaling over US$ 1 billion, which we created together with SQN Capital and which recently completed its third and largest fundraising. We partnered with SQN Capital Management because of their global expertise in equipment leasing — which for this Ijara fund comprises the underlying collection of assets. The business equipment is all based in developed markets, chiefly the United States. This series of Shariah-compliant funds allows investors an opportunity to place capital in a vehicle backed by real operating assets in a secure and stable market, facilitating attractive returns amid low volatility. These aspects have driven strong institutional demand, which stands in contrast to uneven strategies currently identified with equity, bond, real estate, or commodity markets. At QInvest, we are proud to have jointly put together the leading and largest Islamic equipment leasing funds in the world.
- Has QInvest facilitated any Islamic investments with sovereign wealth funds outside of Qatar?
Yes, we have. There is an interest in Islamic finance, and we cater to a range of sophisticated clients in the space. While I cannot disclose all our active business, I can share there is growing interest for tailored needs in the Islamic space. We recently joined forces with reputable partners to launch sector dedicated funds. The funds are starting relatively small, mirroring different projects that vary in size, scope and geography. The objective is to be able to structure these funds in an Islamic fashion while providing a reliable and proven way to guarantee future generations’ wealth. Fortunately for us, we have been able to assemble a highly accomplished team, developing new Islamic finance structures and products to deliver on expanding sophisticated client needs.
QATAR ISLAMIC FINANCE HUB REPORT 2019