Qatar readies $9.8bn EU property investment

State-backed investors eyeing prime commercial properties in European centres.
Qatar readies $9.8bn EU property investment
By Amy Glass
Tue 27 May 2008 11:17 AM

A consortium of Qatari state-backed investors is preparing to plough up to $9.8 billion in UK and European commercial property.

The group, made up of Qatar National Bank (QNB), Qatar Islamic Bank, Barwa International and QInvest, is planning to work with Sellar Property Group to target prime assets in London and other European centres, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reported on Tuesday.

No other details were disclosed.

The decision follows the deal announced in January by the group to take an 80% share in Sellar's $2.7 billion Shard of Glass development on London's South Bank.

Sheikh Jasim, chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank, said in January opportunities such as the Shard of Glass would be the cornerstone of the group’s investment strategy.

“We will continue to look for similar opportunities. It is our belief that the United Kingdom continues to be an attractive investment place in Europe," he said.

The Qatari consortium joins a growing number of sovereign wealth funds and other Middle East investors lining up to take advantage of a fall in UK commercial property prices. Since the peak in July last year, capital values have fallen by up 20%.

Last week, St Martin's, the property arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), paid $790 million for the Willis Building in the City of London, one of the newest office schemes in the capital.

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