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Wednesday January 30, 2013

Qatar’s sovereign fund sees its investments in M'sia surpassing US$10bil

Big chunk of investments to go into petrochemical projects

<B>Integrated development:</B> (from left) Tradewinds Corp group chief executive officer Shaharul Farez Hassan, Jerantas
corporate representative Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Ismail, Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik
Raja Zainal Abidin, Hussain Ali and chief secretary to the Goverment Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa at the ground-breaking ceremony
of Harrods Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Integrated development: (from left) Tradewinds Corp group chief executive officer Shaharul Farez Hassan, Jerantas corporate representative Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Ismail, Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, Hussain Ali and chief secretary to the Goverment Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa at the ground-breaking ceremony of Harrods Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

weishen.wong@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Qatar's sovereign fund anticipates that its investments in Malaysia will surpass the US$10bil (RM30.8bil) mark, which when fullymaterialised, should make it among the largest foreign investors here.

A big portion of that amount US$5bil (RM15.4bil) will be pumped into petrochemical projects within the country over the next three to four years, particularly in the Pengerang project in Johor.

The investments will come from Qatar Holding LLC, an investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), said Qatar Holding vice-chairman Dr Hussain Ali Al- Abdulla.

“We are in discussions right now with major companies in Kuala Lumpur to invest there,” he said.

However, the expected timeframe for its investments in Malaysia to hit the US$10bil mark was not revealed.

Qatar Holding is also the single largest shareholder in Pavilion Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with a 36% stake.

In December 2011, it was reported that Malaysia and Qatar planned to set up an RM6.2bil joint-investment fund to boost investment in both countries and the region.

Each country would contribute RM3.1bil to the fund, with details on investments to be worked out later.

QIA is also playing a role in the development of the Sungai Besi land.

1Malaysia Development Bhd is the master developer of the land and has roped in QIA to take on the task of turning the 196.6ha air base into an upscale township. QIA has reportedly proposed to invest some RM15.9bil in the venture.

Hussain Ali was speaking to reporters at the Harrods Hotel groundbreaking ceremony here.

The hotel and the integrated development, estimated to cost RM2bil, will include two residential towers, an office building and a retail podium and is slated for completion in 2018. A direct link to Pavilion shopping complex will also be established.

Jerantas Sdn Bhd is the sole developer of the integrated development. Qatar Holding has a 66% equity interest in the company while Tradewinds Corp Bhd holds the remaining 34%.

Tradewinds Corp, meanwhile, has a 40% stake in the development while Qatar Holding together with Pavilion REIT holds the remaining 60%.

Hussain added that construction contracts for the hotel were expected to be tendered out in the third or fourth quarter of the year.

Construction of the hotel and integrated development is expected to begin by year-end.

The Harrods Hotel will be located on 5.48-acr e at the intersection of Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan Conlay, in the heart of Bukit Bint ang.

The seven-star Harrods Hotel in Malaysia is expected to be the first to open worldwide, with the other two Harrods Hotels in London,

UK and Costa Smeralda, Italy, to open soon after.

Tradewinds Corp holds the franchise for the Harrods retail stores in Malaysia and had indicated in its 2008 annual report that it could collaborate with Harrods on residential, commercial and hotel pro jects, especially here.

Qatar Holding bought the Harrods department store in Knightbridge, London from the famed Mohamed Al Fayed, who also owns football club Fulham, in 2010.

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