(AsiaNews/Agencies) - Qatar invested US$ 4.3 billion in the past 12 months to
buy up European companies, assets, luxury properties and football teams, making
it largest sovereign property buyer in the European Union. The deals including the
London Olympic Village and a mall on Paris' Champs
Elysees, this according to research by Real Capital
Analytics (RCA), a market research and commercial real estate information
For RCA, spending
by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) during the year to mid-August equals
only about six weeks of revenue from its liquefied natural gas exports.
gas revenue totalled US$ 36 billion in a country of 250,000 native residents, which
has some 1.2 million foreigner workers.
Qatar invested more than US$ 7 billion in real estate, mostly in London and
Paris, funding the construction of the
European Union's tallest skyscraper, the Shard, which opened in London just
before the London Games. It also owns Harrods department store and has a 27 per
cent stake in Songbird Estates, the majority owner of London's Canary Wharf
the QIA bought property worth billions of dollars, including a huge, US$ 615
million hotel on the Champs Elysées.
Qatar's sovereign, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, is famous for owning a
majority share of the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, one of the most prestigious
outfits in French football.
the emirate also has stakes in many companies, like German sports car maker
In an interview with Bloomberg in
April, Hussain Al Abdulla, a member on the QIA<s executive board, said that its spending strategy has been opportunistic. "We have no asset allocation or geographic allocation. After
the financial crisis, all that went in the garbage."
In a few
decades, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have used money earned from oil sales
to become essential partners in Europe's economy and foreign policy, as evinced
in the latest crises in the Middle East.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia played a crucial role in funding the rebels and getting
Western nations to attack Gaddafi, including specious reporting on al-Jazeera and al-Arabya.
appears to be happening in Syria where the two nations are funding and arming
Sunni rebels against the Assad regime.