Qatari Royal among investors exposed to Credit Suisse supply chain funds

(Bloomberg) – The former prime minister of Qatar is one of the wealthy Middle Eastern investors exposed to the struggling supply chain finance funds of Credit Suisse Group AG, according to people familiar with the matter.

Vehicles linked to Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani invested around $ 200 million in funds that bought loans from Greensill Capital, the financial firm that collapsed in early March, the people said, asking not to be named because they are not authorized to speak subject.

It’s unclear how much Sheikh Hamad, also a former head of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, stands to lose, and preliminary estimates of his exposure could change. Representatives for Credit Suisse and Sheikh Hamad declined to comment.

The bank is in a tough spot as it seeks to maintain the relationship with high net worth clients while also striving to let investors foot the bill if it cannot recover the full amount of loans held in the Greensill linked funds. Of the $ 10 billion managed by the funds, Credit Suisse had sold more than $ 1 billion through its private banking arm in the Middle East, Bloomberg reported earlier.

The Swiss lender has been deeply involved with Qatari investors for years and has a longstanding relationship with Sheikh Hamad. During his tenure as head of the Qatar Investment Authority, which ended in 2013, the sovereign wealth fund became one of the major shareholders of the Swiss bank and appointed Credit Suisse as advisor for certain transactions of foreground.

In 2012, they formed an asset management joint venture called Aventicum Capital Management. Sheikh Hamad also owns a stake in Deutsche Bank AG.

Last month, Credit Suisse froze its Greensill funds and began liquidating investments as Lex Greensill’s company filed for insolvency. Supply chain finance funds hold more than $ 1 billion in notes linked to the GFG Alliance of Sanjeev Gupta, a metallurgical group threatened with collapse, and hundreds of millions of notes to other companies backed by sales that had not yet taken place.

The bank plans to move hard-to-value assets into side pockets while returning money to investors. He paid $ 3.1 billion in March and said he would make another payment by mid-April.

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Keith Johnson

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