Qatar to invest $15bn in UK infrastructure - report

Gas-rich state already owns a string of UK assets including Harrods and the Shard
By Claire Valdini
Thu 14 Mar 2013 11:54 AM

Qatar is in talks with the
UK government to invest up to GBP£10bn (US$15bn) into key infrastructure projects,
London's the Financial Times reported, citing people involved in the
negotiations.

Officials and ministers from
both countries have held discussions over what schemes the Qataris could invest
in and whether a specific fund could be set up, the newspaper said.

Potential projects include
energy plants, road and rail projects and the Thames 'super-sewer' under
London. Specific schemes discussed include a new GBP£14bn nuclear reactor in
Somerset.

A timeline for the
investment has not yet been agreed, added the report.

Gas-rich Qatar has snapped
up a string of British assets in recent years including 80 percent of Western
Europe’s tallest building, The Shard, Harrods and the US embassy building. The Gulf state
is also funding the redevelopment of the GBP£3bn Chelsea Barracks housing project.

Britain’s former Under
Secretary of State for Transport, told Arabian Business last year that
the UK would welcome further infrastructure tie-ups with the Gulf following port company DP
World’s multibillion-dollar investment in the London Gateway project.

Investment in aviation and
roads infrastructure would be not only help shoulder the burden of funding but
would help to boost confidence in the UK economy, Mike Penning said.

“We are looking for
investment. The more joint partnerships and the more outside investment people
see coming into the UK, the more confidence there is in the UK economy… If 
banks are not willing to lend and invest then people ask why they should
invest,” he said.

“Transport is an obvious
[area for investment], as an example, our motorway infrastructure. These are
difficult times in the UK; I’ve got a budget but not an enormous budget.”

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.