Swiss bank rushes to Qatar

Swiss bank rushes to Qatar

DUBAI - Reuters
Swiss bank rushes to Qatar

People stand at a tram stop in front of the Credit Suisse base in Zurich. The lender is a seeking Gulf expansion. REUTERS photo

Credit Suisse and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund have set up an asset management joint venture as the gas-rich Gulf state looks to beef up its financial center and the Swiss bank seeks to tap strong growth in the region.

The venture, called Aventicum Capital Management, builds on the close ties between the two businesses. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is Credit Suisse’s second-largest shareholder with a 6.2 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The venture will focus on investments in the fast-growing emerging and frontier markets of the Middle East and Turkey as well as operate an international business, Credit Suisse said yesterday. The business will be run out of Doha and an undisclosed international location. The Doha-based division will launch in early 2013, while the international business will be started later next year, the bank said. No financial details of the venture were provided in the statement.

The venture is between Credit Suisse and Qatar Holding, part of the Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund.

Cash-rich Qatar is aiming to create an asset management hub in the region. It is setting up a platform for financial services and asset management firms through Qatar Financial Centre, its answer to glitzier Dubai’s financial centre. In April, Qatar signed a deal to co-invest $250 million with Barclays’ natural resources private equity investment unit. For Credit Suisse, the venture builds on its ties with Qatar, which participated in the bank’s capital raising plans this year.