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Investments from the MENA region and the visit of Brazilian state governor to the GCC

In April, the Brazilian southern state of Rio Grande do Sul received the visit of Sharif Essa Al Suwaidi and Tariq Saeed Obaid, representatives of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the largest Emirati fund.

The ADFD is interested in financing infrastructure works like roads, renewable energy and dams. The Federation of Industries of the State of Rio Grande do Sul will identify prospective projects. The ADFD could participate in these projects through investments, partnerships or the granting of loans.

In a very interesting move as to investments in Brazil coming from the MENA region, Canadian Solar, which manufactures equipment used in the generation of solar energy, has sold 80% of a set of solar energy projects to Nebras Power, an economic group based in Doha, Qatar.

The transaction was carried out through Nebras Power Investment Management, a Dutch subsidiary which is the vehicle for international projects by Nebras Power.

In turn, Nebras Power is a joint venture between Qatar Electricity and Water Company (60%) and Qatar Holding (40%) that invests in the water and electricity sectors.

It has also been announced that Joao Doria, the governor of the state of São Paulo (the main Brazilian state from na economic standpoint), will be visiting Qatar and the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

Doria is interested in meeting representatives of investment funds and his objective is to att ract investments related to infrastructure, agrobusiness and real estate development.

It is worth noting that in all the aforementioned cases, infrastructure is a common objective. Brazil suff ers from defi ciencies as to its infrastructure andit is certain that to improve Brazilian infrastructure, the participation of foreign investments and foreign funds is necessary.

Hopefully, some of the investments that will be made in Brazil, for example, in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo, will be Shariah compliant funds like the one from Rasmala, which already had economic contacts with Brazil through a short-term fi nancing facility for a listed Brazilian agribusiness to fund the purchase of agricultural inputs secured against a crop which was pre-sold to a US$40 billion-plus global agribusiness and food company.

This article was first published in Islamic Finance News on May 1, 2019.