Posted on May 11, 2012

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund has taken a stake in Royal Dutch Shell, it was confirmed on Friday. Qatar Investment Authority is also negotiating a stake in Italy's ENI, according to a report in the Middle East Economic Survey.

“We are delighted to welcome the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) as a long term and major shareholder in Shell, and particularly given our excellent strategic relationship with the Qatari state,” said Ross Whittam, a London-based spokesman for Shell.

The company confirmed a report on the purchase published in the Middle East Economic Survey but did not say how big the stake was although it is reportedly between 3-5 percent. The news comes just weeks after it Qatar’s stake in Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, rose to three percent.

Christophe de Margerie, Total’s chairman and chief executive officer said Total and Qatar were planning to invest in joint projects in West Africa. The oil-rich state of Qatar is now among Total's top five shareholders, after the company's employees, and Belgian investor Albert Frere.

Qatar has already bought stakes in several French companies, including media-to-aerospace conglomerate Lagerdere, infrastructure player Vinci, and environmental services group Veolia.

source: Arabian Business