The greening of Qatar
Perhaps it’s a feeling of guilt, or an urge to give something back. After all, according to new figures from the IMF, nature has gifted Qatar with oil and gas that have helped it achieve a GDP per capita approaching $70,000.
"Our purpose is to have an integrated green mission on global warming and sustainable business development"
Whatever the ultimate motives, Doha Bank (whose chairman is a member of Qatar’s Al Thani ruling family) is preparing a $1 billion sukuk to be issued in September that will kick-start a sustainable investment fund for green projects. "It’s part of a core mission to add value to society," says Raghavan Seetharaman, chief executive of Qatar’s third-largest lender. Seetharaman claims that interest in what he calls the bank’s "green mission" has come from European and southeast Asian investors, as well as businessmen and governments from across the Gulf.
Doha Bank’s Green Mission, which will be financed by the fund, already has a chief executive lined up. In addition, according to Seetharaman, the bank has identified experts everywhere from the US to Japan and Singapore who would be able to advise on investments.
Seetharaman says the sustainable investment fund will take stakes in projects for green energy such as biomass and biofuel worldwide. It will support solar energy projects in the Gulf in particular.