Offshore companies, fast food investments and common Arab interests
According to the Wealth Chain Project report, more than 138,000 residential and commercial properties in England and Wales are owned by offshore companies. In London alone, their property is worth £55 billion. The UK government intends to tighten transparency rules on property held by offshore companies, which is used to launder money in the UK. The Wealth Chain Project report highlights the impact of investment through offshore tax havens on the country’s socioeconomic inequality.
US fast food chains are investing in the UK market, as after the pandemic, there are many empty premises left in good locations. Popeyes intends to open new restaurants within 10 years and have a total of 350 restaurants, including those already in operation, while Wendy’s will open a total of 35 restaurants by the end of this year. The Carl’s Jr and Taco Bell chains will also launch new branches. The UK will become even more attractive to US fast food if the government changes around 1,500 food regulations. Currently, brands from overseas have to substitute ingredients in their food offerings to avoid breaking UK regulations.
Since 2021, after years of rivalry, Qatar and a group of Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have begun to invest in each other’s country. The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is currently reviewing a bid (worth up to US$5 billion) for Qatar’s Ooredoo QSC’s telecoms towers. PIF is also considering an investment in Qatar’s beIN Media Group, and Saudi National Bank is a recent investor in Credit Suisse Group, where the Qatar Investment Authority is already present.