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Sun 16 Feb 2014 01:55 PM

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Qatar wealth fund says keen on new UK investments

CEO of Qatar Investment Authority says Britain is 'one of our main destinations'

Qatar wealth fund says keen on new UK investments
Harrods is one of Qatars most high profile buys in the UK so far.

The CEO of Qatar Investment Authority has pinpointed the United Kingdom as a key market in which the sovereign wealth fund is looking to invest.

Ahmad Al-Sayed, the CEO of Qatar Investment Authority, has spoken publicly for the first time since his appointment in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Al Sayed outlined some of the key focuses for QIA, stressing that it is a global fund open to partnerships all over the world and not limited or restricted to a specific area or a country.

But asked about the fund's keenness to invest in the UK, he said: "Britain is one of our main destinations for investment.

"The successful deals resulted in good revenues to everyone and the QIA is happy to invest more in the UK when the right opportunity came along.

"Britain is one of our major destinations of our investment, It has a great system with great regulations. We have Harrods, we have other investments in Britain like Barclays, Sainsbury, Canary Wharf and London Stock Exchange. We are happy to invest more when opportunities come along."

On Harrods, Al Sayed said QIA has spent £250 million to improve the store, adding that sales are up 60 to 70 percent.

"Harrods represents British heritage. We are doing our best to take Harrods to the next level of performance and we are working hard with the management team to improve the store further," he said.

He added that Harrods was looking at expanding into hotels. "We need to be successful. That is why we need to be careful about timings, about how and when. We are not in a hurry to push it," he said in the interview.

Commenting on global market opportunities, Al Sayed added: "Europe is doing fine, America is seeing sustained growth, while the emerging markets could be interesting in light of their volatilities and the pressures they are subjected to as a result of the US Federal Reserve tapering policy."

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