(EnergyAsia, May 3 2012, Thursday) — The Qatar Asset Management Company (QAMC) and Barclays Natural Resource Investments (BNRI), a division of Barclays Bank PLC, have jointly announced that they have formed a strategic partnership to invest in natural resources projects.

QAMC is jointly owned by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC Authority) and the Qatar Investment Authority, while BNRI is a global private equity business focused on natural resource investment opportunities.
QAMC will co-invest US$250 million in BNRI’s current and future portfolio companies, of which a substantial proportion will be allocated to BNRI’s existing $2.1 billion portfolio of companies. BNRI will continue to source, execute, manage and exit private equity transactions in the natural resources sectors on a global basis and co-investors will be invited to participate immediately upon completion of each transaction.

The BNRI office in the Middle East led by managing director Mark Brown will be located within the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) in Doha.

Abdulrahman Ahmad Al-Shaibi, managing director of the QFC Authority, said:

“This strategic partnership is an important milestone in Qatar’s strategy of developing an asset management hub and promoting the expansion of Qatar’s financial services industry. Barclays is already well-established in Doha as a QFC licensed entity, and we are delighted now to welcome the BNRI team to the Qatar Financial Centre.

“Given BNRI’s outstanding track record, skills and understanding of the natural resources sector, we are confident of achieving quality long-term returns from this strategic partnership”.

John Vitalo, CEO of Middle East & North Africa for Barclays, said:

“This strategic partnership demonstrates our lasting commitment to the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region and Qatar. Doha is an attractive business environment. We are very excited about the collaboration which will provide us not only with the opportunity to further extend Barclays global capabilities.”
Shashank Srivastava, Acting CEO of the QFC Authority, said:
“Asset management is fundamental to the Qatar Financial Centre Authority’s strategy for helping the growth of Qatar’s financial sector. BNRI joins a growing list of international firms which recognise the attractions of operating in Doha and of a QFC licence.”

Mark Brown, BNRI’s managing director, said:

“We are pleased to be working in close partnership with the QAMC and look forward to developing a long-term relationship to add to our existing co-investors. The demand for natural resources continues to grow as the global economy expands but their supply is limited.  This means our focus investment area of global natural resources is set to continue to generate attractive investment opportunities.”