Qatar Holding, an arm of the Gulf nation’s sovereign wealth fund, has announced plans to invest an estimated USD 10 billion into Malaysia.
The investment would be directed into petrochemical projects, banking, real estate development and expanding the Harrods Hotel chain. Around half of this investment would be spent over five years on the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex development in Johor, located south of Malaysia. The 8100-hectare development will feature oil refineries, naphtha crackers, petrochemical plants, a liquefied natural gas import terminal and a re-gasification plant.
According to Vice chairman Hussain Ali al-Abdulla, “we are in discussions about this. The abundance of skilled and highly-trained workforce justifies our intention to invest more than US$5 billion (RM15 million) in petrochemical projects in Malaysia. We want to invest even more because we have confidence in the country, now and its future prosperity under the leadership of the current prime minister.”
The Harrods Hotels project will also boast a seven-star hotel, serviced apartments, office building and a retail podium connected directly to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. It would be completed in collaboration with local Malaysian firm Jerantas Sdn Bhd. The hotel would be the first of its kind in Asia and set the path for expansion in other major cities of the world. Kuala Lumpur won the nod for launch of hotel because of ease in setting up and flexibility of operations.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has funneled state income earned through oil and gas exports in over30 countries. The United Kingdom has remained a favorite investment destination of the fund. The QIA is largest shareholder in UK-based Sainsbury grocery chain and, in 2010, also purchased the Harrods Group. It also owns the former Royal Dutch Shell headquarters, US Embassy in London, and London Olympics athletes’ village. The QIA also enjoys a large shareholding in Porsche and British bank Barclays.