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While North America will still have preference as a favoured investment destination, Qatar's wealth funds sees more prospects in Asia for the medium-term. Image Credit: Supplied

Doha: Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is looking East for deals in an effort to diversify an investment portfolio heavily weighted toward North America and Europe.

Asia "has been very much on our radar screen," Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said. He is also chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority, which manages about $300 billion of assets and ranks as the world's 11th-largest wealth fund, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

"It's not only from a growth perspective, but also from a diversification perspective," he said, pointing to substantial investments in Europe over the past decade. "Asia didn't take the fair portion of the investments," although North American deals will remain a priority.

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Priority picks

QIA's chairman declined to identify specific targets, mentioning only a list of locations such as India, Malaysia, Singapore, and China. "We've been doing a lot of investments in the last couple years in China, and they've been doing very well," he said.

The wealth fund holds stakes in some of the world's top companies including London Stock Exchange Group Plc, Volkswagen AG and Glencore Plc. It agreed to purchase a 30 per cent stake in a high-end Istanbul shopping center toward the end of last year, while also agreeing to develop renewable energy in Africa with Italian utility Enel SpA.