Qatar is considering acquiring significant stake in a number of European investment banks reeling under the impact of economic recession and negotiations are already underway with seven such banks, a leading Arabic news channel has reported.
“Qatari delegations are leading broad negotiations to widen their investment portfolio in Luxembourg, in order to diversify their income generating investments,” Saudi Arabia owned Al Arabiya reported on Wednesday. Facing economic recession, Europe is looking to attract foreign investors and Qatar is one of the countries that can benefit from these opportunities, the report quoted Basheer al Kahlout, leading economist from the region, saying.
He further said that widening the foreign investments of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is part of Qatar’s strategy to diversify its sources of income, away from gas and fuel sectors, which contribute 55 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Qatar Holding invested its budget surplus, estimated at $16.5 billion annually (QR60 billion) in the past two years in lucrative foreign projects, a record for the investments in Europe.
Qatar invested in the Paris St Germain soccer and handball club, French oil major Total and Shell. It also invested $5 billion in the Chinese stock market, bought the building which hosts Le Figaro Magazine in Paris, besides 6 percent of Spain’s Iberdrola. It also bought Harrods in London for $2.2 billion in 2010, in addition to financing 95 percent of The Shard tower in London, the highest skyscraper in Europe.
These investments contributed to transforming Qatar, a country with a population of 1.9 million people and a per capita income over $100,000, into an important player at the economic and social levels working hard to improve the social responsibility of independent funds towards the recipient countries. It is likely that these investments will contribute to creating future jobs in recipient countries and boost the foreign currency reserves of these countries.
source: Qatar Tribune
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