Qatar shuffles cupboard, names new heads of wealth fund, state gas giant

Reuters

DOHA, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Qatar named new heads to its large condition-run vitality organization and deep-pocketed sovereign prosperity fund on Sunday though appointing the CEO of its greatest bank as its new trade minister.

It was the first authorities shuffle in Qatar, the world’s leading liquefied all-natural gas producer, since early 2016, but diplomats and analysts reported the improvements did not signify a considerable shift in electricity.

The wealthy place has been topic to a diplomatic and economic boycott by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt due to the fact June 2017. They accuse Qatar of backing terrorism and cosying up to Iran. Doha denies the fees and states the boycott aims to impinge on its sovereignty.

Qatar’s ruler issued decrees outlining changes to the boards of state gas big Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Qatar Expense Authority (QIA), the world’s ninth most significant sovereign wealth fund with about $300 billion in property.

International Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani was named chairman of QIA, which injected billions of dollars into Qatari financial institutions final calendar year to offset overseas outflows just after the Arab boycott began.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani, the 30-calendar year-old deputy and brother of the emir, was named chairman of Qatar Petroleum, which expects to ramp up fuel manufacturing by some 43 per cent around the next five to 6 years.

Although minimal, the cupboard shuffle pulled in organization heavyweights like Qatar Nationwide Lender (QNB) CEO Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari, who was appointed to a new portfolio combining commerce and industry beneath a person ministry.

Saad al-Kaabi, the chief govt of QP, was named minister of state for power affairs. New ministers ended up appointed to head the departments of justice, of labour and social affairs, and of municipality and natural environment.

Western diplomats and analysts did not see the shake-up as indicative of a shift in policy almost 18 months due to the fact the start off of the regional rift, which Qatar has weathered with new trade routes and greater oil charges that have helped it swing to a budgetary surplus this year.

“The cabinet shuffle was predicted to occur earlier, but was seemingly on hold as the country dealt with the blockade and now as the ramifications have been productively dealt with, it was time,” said Majed al-Ansari, an analyst and professor of political sociology at Qatar University.

“It does not signal a adjust in policy or ability change in the authorities,” he claimed.

It was not apparent whether or not Kuwari would keep his submit at QNB, the Middle East’s most significant lender by belongings. The bank, which is 50 p.c owned by the country’s sovereign wealth fund, did not straight away reply to Reuters’ request for comment.

QP’s Al-Kaabi, a U.S.-educated engineer, rose via the ranks to turn into main government in 2014 and also sits on the board of the Qatar Expense Authority.

He has acquired a track record among the executives of the world’s electrical power majors, this sort of as Exxon, Shell and Overall , as a reliable counterpart for power initiatives that have produced the tiny nation of 2.6 million folks the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied all-natural gasoline (LNG).

Abdulla Abdulaziz Al Subaie was appointed minister of municipality and environment, a write-up seen as key to preparations for the country’s 2022 Environment Cup. Subaie has served as taking care of director and CEO of Qatar Rail, which expects to start Doha’s first metro line this yr.

A individual decree on Sunday appointed Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani chairman of the Qatar Money Marketplaces Authority as part of a shuffle of its board of directors. (Reporting by Eric Knecht in Doha and Rania El Gamal, Asma Alsharif, and Tom Arnold in Dubai Composing by Ghaida Ghantous Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Adrian Croft)

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Qatar shuffles cabinet, names new heads of wealth fund,…