Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Qatar Loses Billions on Volkswagen, Glencore, State Owned al-Jazeera to Fire Hundreds of Journalists

We last mentioned Qatar to note the Emir had taken in 42 Syrian refugees.

The emirate has hit a rough patch, what with the price of oil and the cost overruns for the 2022 World Cup and the hundreds of dead workers and, well, now this.
From Bloomberg:

Qatar Wealth Fund May Have Lost Billions on VW, Glencore Stakes
Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund may have lost $4.6 billion in just two days from its stakes in Volkswagen AG and Glencore Plc. 
Qatar Investment Authority, the biggest holder of VW’s preferred shares and the third-largest owner of its ordinary stock, stands to have seen 3.8 billion euros ($4.3 billion) evaporate from its holdings in the automaker. QIA is also the largest investor in Glencore, and its stake that might have lost 231 million pounds ($354 million). 
The ownership data are based on Bloomberg compilations from regulatory filings dated April 2015 in the most recent case. A QIA media representative declined to comment on the current stakes....MORE
And from Qatar Living:

Report: Al-Jazeera to lay off up to 1000 employees to cut costs
Launched in 1996 with a loan from the Qatari Emir of that time, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Al-Jazeera has since then remained state funded.

It is a well reputed news organization that also faced many controversies from its first televised interview with an Israeli speaking Hebrew to broad casting video statements from Al-Qaeda leaders.

However, now Al-Jazeera is expected to cut hundreds of jobs worldwide as they try to make savings in the falling oil price and also a possible radical change in investment strategy....MORE
Finally. the Middle East's answer to the Onion does a "You can't make this Qatar s#*@ up":

Middle East satire site concedes defeat after labourers forced to run Qatari marathon in flip-flops
Editors at semi-popular Middle East satire news website The Pan-Arabia Enquirer yesterday revealed that they had “given up” in their long-running struggle to keep ahead of reality.

The announcement came following last week’s news that labourers working in Qatar had been coerced into taking part in a marathon, with many bussed in from their dormitories and forced to run in jeans and flip-flops as part of a failed bid to break the world record for number of participants.

“Honestly, simply cannot compete in these sorts of conditions,” said Enquirer acting editor Baltimore Stafford in a statement.

“Over the years, we’ve had to deal with a growing trend of real-life trying to outdo satire, especially in Saudi Arabia, but this is beyond our capabilities. To be honest, we could have probably worked around the whole ‘labourers forced to take part in marathon’ bit, but with the addition of flip-flops, jeans and the fact it was a shambolic attempt to break a record, we’ve had to concede defeat.”

They do have some assets:

"Qatar Purchases Cézanne’s The Card Players for More Than $250 Million, Highest Price Ever for a Work of Art"