Qatar cab­i­net reshuf­fle hands key min­istries to top CEOs

Tehran Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Qatar ap­pointed the heads of its big­gest bank and state-run oil firm to two key min­is­te­rial posts in a cab­i­net reshuf­fle on Sun­day.

The reshuf­fle or­dered by Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, was the first gov­ern­ment reshuf­fle in Qatar, the world’s top liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas pro­ducer, since early 2016.

The coun­try’s ruler also is­sued de­crees re­struc­tur­ing the boards of both the state-run Qatar Pe­tro­leum (QP) and Qatar In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity (QIA), the world’s ninth largest sov­er­eign wealth fund with about $300bn in as­sets.

Qatar Na­tional Bank (QNB) CEO (chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer), Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari was ap­pointed to a new port­fo­lio that com­bined com­merce and in­dus­try un­der one min­istry in the reshuf­fle, which also in­cluded changes to the jus­tice, la­bor and so­cial af­fairs min­istries.

It was not clear whether Kuwari would re­tain his post at QNB, the Mid­dle East’s largest lender by as­sets, which is 50 per­cent owned by the coun­try’s sov­er­eign wealth fund, Qatar In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity (QIA).

An­other chief ex­ec­u­tive, Saad al-Kaabi of QP, joined the cab­i­net as Min­is­ter of State for En­ergy Af­fairs, ac­cord­ing to the royal court’s de­cree.

Al-Kaabi, a United States-ed­u­cated en­gi­neer, rose through the ranks to be­come chief ex­ec­u­tive of QP in 2014 and is also a mem­ber of the board of the QIA.

Among the ex­ec­u­tives of the world’s en­ergy gi­ants like Exxon, Shell and To­tal, he has the rep­u­ta­tion of a re­li­able coun­ter­part in en­ergy projects that have made the tiny na­tion of 2.6 mil­lion peo­ple the world’s big­gest ex­porter of liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG).

Qatar has been fac­ing a diplo­matic and eco­nomic boy­cott by the House of Saud regime, the United Arab Emi­rates, Bahrain and Egypt since June 2017.

The four coun­tries ac­cuse Qatar of back­ing ter­ror­ism and cozy­ing up to re­gional power house Iran, charges that Doha de­nies and in­stead says the boy­cott aims to im­pinge on its sovereignty.

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