Qatar has for some time now been striving to become the asset management hub of the Mena region. Regulations have been enhanced, and there are moves to combine the current three regulators into one single regulatory body. At the same time Qatar is seeking emerging market status from MSCI, something it hopes to achieve next year.
Further moves have seen seed capital being paid to asset management firms who are willing to locate to the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). One recent high profile example saw Barclays Natural Resources Investments (BNRI) open a new office in Doha in return for $250m of seed capital, paid by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar's largest sovereign wealth fund.
One asset management firm which is currently looking at having a presence in Qatar is Global Fund Exchange. The company, which is headquartered in New York, runs funds specialising in sustainable energy products, focusing onwhat it calls mega macro trends, including clean energy, water, agriculture, energy and natural resources.
Anric Blatt, chairman of Global Fund Exchange, favours Qatar over other Middle Eastern countries, and at the time of writing he and chief executive Lauralouise Duffy are about to have another round of meetings in Doha with a view to making a final decision on opening an office there.
For more information, please visit: www.gfx.qa
The global financial crisis has had a severely damaging effect on commodities funds. Fundamental demand/supply imbalances have been ignored and capital flows have been redirected away from long term capital intensive projects, such as commodity based infrastructure, towards other areas.
Many asset managers have suffered, but there are reasons to be bullish about the long term with development across emerging markets fuelling ever greater commodities demand. MENA Fund Review spoke to Anric Blatt, chairman, Global Fund Exchange, Brian Fudge, investment products manager at AMT Futures Limited, and Andrew Brudenell, manager, HSBC GIF Middle East and North Africa fund about the future of commodities funds in the Middle East and North Africa - See page 22 onwards
The rise of socially responsible and sustainable investing poses a challenge to those Mena fund managers keen to appease investor preferences, while generating decent returns. But is there money to be made from this trend?
Interview with Anric Blatt, Chairman of Global Fund Exchange and Co-portfolio manager of the Earth Wind & Fire and the AquaTerra Funds.
WITH nearly 80 million net new people joining the planet each year, our world is grappling with rising demand for food and water and a strain on vital natural resources. The investment community is taking sharp notice of these challenges and the profit opportunities they offer.
Global Fund Exchange chairman Anric Blatt discusses his firm's foray into the crucial agriculture, water and natural resource investments that currently illustrate one of humanity's greatest challenges and also its best investment opportunities.