QATAR'S INVESTMENT TO RUSSIA
FT - Qatar's sovereign welfare fund is planning to spend a further $2bn in Russia following a triumphant but controversial investment in state oil giant Rosneft.
Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, said on Wednesday that the Qatar Investment Authority would participate in new oil extraction projects in the country, without elaborating further. Abullah bin Mohammed Al Thani, the fund's chief executive, said it would invest a further $2bn on top of $500m of existing investments in the country. Some of the investments would be made jointly with the $10bn sovereign Russian Direct Investment Fund, its partner in a deal last summer for St. Petersburg's airport, he added.
Mr Putin hosted Mr Al-Thani in the Kremlin at an event to celebrate QIA and Glencore's deal to buy a 19.5 per cent stake in Rosneft, which concluded early this month.
Though the Russian budget received the Rbs710bn earmarked from the deal late last year, many details of the transaction remain shrouded in mystery. Last week, it emerged that the Singaporean joint vehicle used to buy the shares received a Rbs692bn bridge loan from sanctioned state bank VTB, which the lender then passed on to the holding company that manages Russia's stake in Rosneft.
The debt was then cancelled after Italian lender Intesa gave the joint venture a €5.2bn loan to buy some of the shares in early January. It remains unclear whether the loan from VTB was repaid.
Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg told Mr Putin that the firm intended to work with Rosneft on supplying oil to India and China. Mr Putin told Intesa chief executive Carlo Messina that he hoped the bank would continue to do business in Russia.
According to the participants, Qatar invested €2.5bn in the deal, with Glencore paying a further €300m, and unnamed Russian banks supplying €2.2bn. Mr Putin said the consortium had already "made a lot" from the transaction, pointing to an 18 per cent rise in Rosneft's share price since the deal.
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IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.