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Qatar purchases prime building in Paris

Qatar has purchased a Paris building housing a section of the U.S. embassy and the offices of national newspaper Le Figaro, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

“[Qatar] has just bought the Neo building with 23,000 sqm at 14 boulevard Haussmann in the center of Paris for €300m ($367m),” Le Parisien newspaper reported on Saturday.

The deal shortly came after the gas-rich Gulf state purchased four French hotels.

The newspaper reported that Katara Hospitality, formerly known as Qatar National Hotels Company, had bought four properties from the American hotel group, Starwood Hotel Group. The hotels include the famed Martinez in Cannes and the Hotel du Louvre in Paris, for a reported sum ranging between $880 million and 940 million.

Katara Hospitality will ask the U.S. hotel group Hyatt to manage them, Le Figaro said, citing an informed source. Starwood is expected to announce the sale on June 28.

Earlier 2012, Katara took over the ownership of two iconic Raffles properties in Singapore and Paris.

According to AFP, Qatari investors have already signed lucrative contracts with French companies in recent months. The investors have bought Paris Saint-Germain football club and acquired 3 percent of energy giant Total as well as stakes in building firm Vinci and in media group Lagardere. (10.1 per cent).

Le Parisien also reported that Qatar had backed out of a plan to finance a $60 million rejuvenation of some of Paris’ most rundown neighborhoods and was instead putting the funds into backing small and medium sized enterprises.