The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has brought a luxury retail complex on Paris’ exclusive Champs-Elysées boulevard, French daily Les Echos reported on Wednesday.
The move is yet another major deal for the QIA, which also bought London’s Harrods department store for $2.22 billion in 2010.
This time the QIA, the investment arm of Qatar Holding, bought the flagship retail complex in the heart of Paris from French insurance firm Groupama for around $623.2 million.
But it is unclear whether the Qatari firm has any revamping plans lined up for the retail complex.
Qatari investors have made several major investments in France, buying the Paris Saint-Germain football club, a 5.6 percent stake in building firm Vinci, five percent of utility group Veolia and 10.1 percent in media group Lagardere.
The Qatari Investment Authority, one of the world’s fastest growing sovereign wealth funds, announced that its assets under management had exceeded $100 billion in April.
The Gulf state of Qatar, which has accumulated huge surpluses over the past decade due to high energy prices, has been pursuing an aggressive investment policy, especially in the United Kingdom.
Qatari Diar, the property arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund pushed aggressively into the region last year, most recently buying the athletes’ village in London's Olympic park for $906 million along with UK developer Delancey Estates.
Other investments include funding the $4.8 billion redevelopment of London’s Chelsea Barracks, historic tower blocks originally built in the 1860s to house two battalions of British Army troops and then re-built into concrete towers after World War II.
Qatari Diar also included One Hyde Park, a luxury residential development also in London that was reported in 2011to have achieved a £1 billion ($1.6 billion) sales milestone.
More recently in the British capital, the property group also invested in the building of the Shard skyscraper, the 95-storey Renzo Piano-designed glass tower, with views across London's financial district and the landmark St Paul's Cathedral. Top property experts have estimated it to sell at $47-$78 million.
(Written by Eman El-Shenawi)