Credit Suisse Qatar Venture Plans Investment

Aventicum Capital Management, the venture of Credit Suisse Group AG and Qatar Holding LLC, plans to invest in equities and credit in emerging markets as early as the first half of the year.

Aventicum will focus on publicly traded securities in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, Hashem Montasser, chief executive officer for Qatar, said in an interview today at the Bloomberg Doha Conference.

“We’ll be looking at anything listed,” he said. “We’ll be launching a number of funds dedicated to that region.”

Credit Suisse and Qatar Holding, a unit of the Persian Gulf emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, last year agreed to form the asset manager to boost investments in emerging markets. The venture will operate out of two hubs including a Doha-based unit focusing on investments in the Middle East, Turkey and other frontier markets, Zurich-based Credit Suisse said. Montasser, formerly head of asset management at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, was appointed CEO and chief investment officer of the Doha unit.

Montasser said Aventicum is waiting for a license from the Qatari regulator to set up the fund and expects to obtain it in the first half.

Distressed Assets

Qatar and Credit Suisse are boosting ties after the nation took a 6 percent stake in the bank and bought its London headquarters. The country, which has the world’s third-largest gas reserves, is snapping up assets across the globe as it seeks to reduce its energy dependency. QIA is a Qatari wealth fund.

Qatar in February said it’s creating a $12 billion investment fund to buy distressed assets overseas. Qatar Holding, a unit of the Persian Gulf emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, will contribute $3 billion from its assets to the new company, called Doha Global Investment. The new fund will seek to raise $3 billion in a share sale to Qatari nationals, Aladdin Hangari, head of Credit Suisse in Qatar, said.

Aventicum will focus on two funds this year and “subject to the market and performance then we’ll maybe look at raising more funds,” Montasser said. The venture’s international business is “in progress,” he said, without giving further details.

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