Qatar Wants to Invest More in Russia After Rosneft Deal

Qatari authorities are keen on more investment opportunities in Russia to capitalize on “huge” growth potential, the Gulf state’s ambassador in Moscow has said, according to Bloomberg.

Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah said his country is fully satisfied with its purchase of around a fifth of Russian state oil producer Rosneft, a deal concluded last year.

“The company with its valuation has been attractive,” the ambassador said in an interview in the Russian capital. “It’s a great investment and we’re very happy to be part of it.”

The country‚Äôs sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) emerged as a major shareholder in Rosneft in May last year after a $9 billion deal to sell a stake to China’s troubled CEFC Energy Co. collapsed. The sovereign wealth fund now owns 18.93 percent of Rosneft, making it the third-largest shareholder after the Russian state, which holds 50 percent, and UK oil major BP with 19.75 percent.

The deal cemented Doha’s links with Moscow at a time when Qatar is facing isolation from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week began a four-nation Gulf tour with Qatar, traveling on directly to Saudi Arabia despite a ban on air links between the two rival nations.

Qatar has invested heavily in Russia in recent years. QIA in 2013 bought a $500 million stake in Russian state-owned VTB Bank and controls 25 percent in Northern Capital Gateway Consortium, the operator of St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport as part of planned $2 billion of investments via a joint venture with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). State-owned Qatar Airways last year also agreed to buy a 25 percent stake in Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport.