KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Qatar's sovereign wealth fund plans to spend half of the $10 billion it expects to invest in Malaysia on a petrochemicals complex aimed at transforming the Southeast Asian nation into a global hub for the oil and gas trade.
The Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex in the southern state of Johor is expected to help Malaysia compete with neighbouring Singapore to become the region's top petrochemical hub.
"We are in discussions about this. We may invest up to $5 billion in the next three to four years into petrochemical projects here (in Pengerang)," Qatar Holding LLC vice chairman Hussain Ali al-Abdulla told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
"Qatar Holding's total investment exposure to Malaysia will eventually exceed $10 billion in various sectors," he added.
Pengerang is expected to accumulate 170 billion ringgit ($55.84 billion) in investments by the time it begins operations in 2016. The complex includes the 60-billion-ringgit Petronas Refinery and Petrochemicals (RAPID) project by state-owned oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd.
Qatar Holding will spend 2 billion ringgit ($656.92 million)to build a luxury Harrods-brand hotel in the city center. The hotel is jointly developed by Jerantas Sdn Bhd, linked to Malaysia's sixth-richest man Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.
Qatar Holding spent 100 million ringgit last year to establish itself as a cornerstone investor in agricultural commodities firm Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd. ($1 = 3.0445 Malaysian ringgit) (Reporting By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Niluksi Koswanage and Miral Fahmy)