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10 April 2013 03:18 pm

Qatar has 12 billionaires, says QFC

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Tiny Gulf state Qatar is home to 12 billionaires who hold $17bn in assets between them, a report by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) found. The gas-rich country’s high-net-worth community is the fifth largest in the Middle East and North Africa, with approximately 300 ultra high net worth individuals (UNHWI) holding $45bn in assets. Qatar’s UHNWI community is considered a key source of investment for fund managers, although the QFCA report found that many of the latter are struggling to gain traction within the country’s ultra-rich community, with most UNHWIs choosing to invest directly into private businesses instead. “Those family offices who are diversifying family businesses by investing into new asset classes, were more inclined to invest directly rather than bear the extra layer of fees for mediated fund management services,” the QFCA report said. “Mutual fund managers expected this to shift over time, but expressed concerns that this wait for domestic HNWI money would be a long one.” Qatar’s nominal GDP has doubled in three years, from $98bn in 2009 to $193bn last year. The country is expected to register average annual growth of 5.2 percent until 2017. Source: Arabian Business