Stitch 'n Bitch Groups
180, New York, 180, 180, 180
Qatar fund builds small stakes in BofA, Samsung-sources
October 31, 2013 2:46 AM
* Qatar Holding has BofA stake worth $1 billion - sources
* Fund has stake in Samsung worth $200-$300 mln
* Qatar fund picking minority stakes in large global firms
* Samsung says investment reflects Qatar support for
By Dinesh Nair and Miyoung Kim
DUBAI/SEOUL, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Qatar Holding has built
small stakes in Bank of America and Samsung Electronics
, two sources familiar with the matter said, as the
wealth fund continues on its strategy of picking minority stakes
in large global companies.
The fund, one of the world's most prolific investors, has a
stake worth about $1 billion in Bank of America, while its
Samsung stake is worth between $200-$300 million, the sources
said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the investments have
not been publicly disclosed.
BofA declined to comment and QIA could not be reached for
comment outside working hours.
A Samsung spokeswoman in Seoul said the company is aware of
Qatar Holding's recent purchase of its shares which is said
reflects the fund's support for its management.
It did not comment on the value of the purchases.
In recent months, Qatar has picked up minority stakes in
companies such as oil giant Royal Dutch Shell,
jewellery maker Tiffany & Co and Germany's Siemens
Buying smaller stakes means investors do not have always
have to disclose ownership.
Qatar's strategy took an activist turn in 2012 when it
demanded better terms from Glencore for its planned
acquisition of London miner Xstrata, in which it had built up a
stake of more than 12 percent, forcing Glencore to eventually
raise the share swap offer.
"Qatar has taken a view that equities are cheap as an asset
class and it can commit a billion dollars or two in a large
company and do away with any disclosure requirements," one
source familiar with the fund's plans said.
"These are mostly financial investments and very unlikely to
lead into a strategic transaction for the fund. Like any
investor, they would seek to buy it cheap and sell it high."
Qatar Holding, the investment arm of Qatar Investment
Authority (QIA), began buying BofA shares about two years ago,
the Financial Times first reported on its website,
BofA's stock closed at $14.17, up 2 cents, on the New York
Stock Exchange. A $1 billion stake at this price represents less
than 1 percent of BofA, which has a market capitalisation of
about $151.2 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.
It was not clear when the fund accumulated the Samsung
stake. The smartphone leader has a market value of around $230.1
billion which makes the ownership considerably less than 1
percent of the company.
Under newly appointed Chief Executive Ahmed Al-Sayed, QIA
has been on an aggressive expansion spree, hiring bankers and
senior executives with experience ranging from mergers and
acquisitions in Asia to retail and luxury investments in Europe.
The fund hired Michael Cho, a former co-head of Asia mergers
and acquisitions at BofA, to run its mergers and acquisitions
Three sources told Reuters in September that Qatar Holding
had hired Ugo Arzani, most recently a BofA managing director in
London, as its new head of consumer and retail investments.
The sources said QIA, worth more than $100 billion, was
scouting for opportunities in Asia and the United States in a
bid to reduce its exposure to Europe and diversify its
Mergers, Acquisitions & Takeovers Finance BofA Qatar Holding Samsung
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