Brookfield, Qatar wealth fund eye China opportunities as others retreat

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Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund continue to explore investment opportunities in China even as some other investors pull back from the world’s second-largest economy.

“There are many global investors that are not interested in China anymore, but there a lot that are,” Brookfield Chief Executive Officer Bruce Flatt told a panel at the Qatar Economic Forum Tuesday.

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“The local investors have money in China and are doubling down on investing in China,” he said. “A lot of the Middle Eastern investors think the Americans have gone away and so there is an amazing opportunity to put capital to work and generate higher returns.”

The head of Qatar’s $510 billion sovereign wealth fund agreed, and said the QIA would continue to deploy money into China as current prices provide an attractive entry point.

“We have an allocation for China and we are focused on consumer related industries,” said Mansoor Al Mahmoud, chief executive of the Qatar Investment Authority.
Referring to China’s large population and growing middle class, he said the QIA would maintain its future focus on the country.

Speaking on the same panel, Franklin Templeton CEO Jenny Johnson echoed those thoughts and said there were pockets of opportunity in China. “It’s about figuring out trends, and within China where there’s a desire to build domestic markets.”

Those comments from some of the world’s largest investors coincide with a period of increasing doubt about China’s economic future.

Once seen as a market flush with opportunities for investors, China’s economic attractiveness has taken several hits in recent years.

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