Credit Suisse said to start money management venture with Qatar

Credit Suisse Group and a unit of Qatar Investment Authority, Doha, the Persian Gulf emirate’s $100 billion sovereign wealth fund, plan to start a money management joint venture, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The unit will be based in Doha and focus on Middle East and North Africa investments, according to one of the people, who asked not to be named and declined to give more details on the venture, citing the sensitivity of the talks. The venture might be announced this year, two people said. It will solicit third-party funds, according to one of the people.

Qatar and Credit Suisse are boosting ties after the nation took a 6% stake in the bank and bought its London headquarters. The country, which has the world’s third-largest gas reserves, is snapping up assets across the globe as it seeks to reduce its energy dependency and has $30 billion to invest this year, QIA board member Hussain Al Abdulla said in April.

The bank announced in November that it was planning to expand its “local product offering” in Qatar in 2012 by providing money management services to local and international investors once it had secured regulatory approvals.

The bank’s board of directors met in Qatar about a year ago and it has also been shifting staff to Doha from Dubai, two people familiar with the matter said in September.

A spokesman for the QIA declined to comment. Sofia Rehman, a spokeswoman at Credit Suisse, also declined to comment.

The venture will expand into other emerging and frontier markets depending on performance, one of the people said, declining to say how the venture would be capitalized.