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Qatar Is Bringing Its Investment Muscle to Silicon Valley

QATAR-CITY SCAPEQATAR-CITY SCAPE
A view of the Qatari capital Doha, on October 4, 2012. Formerly a British protectorate, Qatar has been ruled as a unicameral federal republic by the al-Thani family since the mid-19th century. Previously noted for pearling, today it has become one of the region's wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas revenues. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)Photograph by Patrick Baz — AFP/Getty Images

Qatar’s Sovereign Wealth Fund said on Monday it would open an office in San Francisco to expand its growing U.S. portfolio, and was still considering investing in a technology fund formed by SoftBank Group.

The Qatar Investment Authority, one of the most active of its kind, has stakes in everything from real estate to luxury goods—traditionally largely in Europe. But it has said it is looking to diversify into Asia and the United States.

“Soon we will be opening an office in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco,” the fund’s CEO, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani, told reporters at an investment conference in London.

“What we plan is to open the office hopefully by the end of this year, if not by end of this year then it will be first quarter of next year. It will be linked very commercially to our office in New York and we will take it from there,” he said.

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“We are still in a study but we haven’t made a decision yet,” al-Thani said on Monday.Qatar was considering investing in a $100 billion global technology fund formed by SoftBank Group, the Japanese telecommunications and internet company, and Saudi Arabia, Bloomberg reported in October.

In 2015 Qatar said it would spend $35 billion in the United States over the next five years after opening an office in New York. In December the fund said it would invest $10 billion in infrastructure projects inside the United States.

The QIA has about $334 billion of assets according to industry tracker Sovereign Wealth Center.