Qatar could turn off tap on mining funding after investment review – by Silvia Antonioli and Nicole Mordant (Reuters U.S. – June 9, 2015)

LONDON/VANCOUVER, June 9 (Reuters) – An investment review at Qatar’s wealth fund could lead to a cut in money allocated to the mining sector, potentially hitting ventures such QKR Corp, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Such a move would be the latest in a string of rethinks by sovereign funds and investment firms that have been badly burnt by bets in the natural resources sector, largely due to the recent pullback in oil, gas and metal prices.

Late last year, Qatar named ruling family member Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani as the new head of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), one of the top investors globally.

Under the new management, the QIA has started to review its strategy, and the mining sector — under pressure from weaker metals prices and shrinking margins — is now seen as less attractive, said the sources, who declined to be identified because they are not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

“Various changes happened at the fund in that part of the world and have created a situation where it seems there is no further support for mining,” a London-based banking source said.

One of the businesses that could be hit by the results of the review is QKR, a private company founded by veteran mining banker Lloyd Pengilly.

QKR’s largest backers are the QIA’s Qatar Holding LLC and Kulczyk Investments, an international investment company founded by Poland’s richest man, Jan Kulczyk. Each put in almost half of the money managed by QKR, according to sources.

“(The Qataris) don’t want to put money to work through this strategy anymore,” said a Canada-based mining company executive. “They are cutting back,” he said, adding his understanding was that the Qataris wanted to reduce their investment in QKR.

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