Qatar snaps up another prime Paris building

Qatar has spent US$367m buying a Paris building which houses a section of the US embassy and the offices of national newspaper Le Figaro, a day after a Qatari investor bought four French hotels, it was reported at the weekend.
“The emirate has just bought the Neo building with 23,000 sqm at 14 boulevard Haussmann in the centre of Paris for €300m (US$367m),” Le Parisien newspaper reported on Saturday
The news comes a day after it was reported US hotel group Starwood Capital is to sell four key French properties to a Qatari investor.
Among the hotels reportedly being offered for sale are the famed Martinez in Cannes and the Concorde Lafayette in Paris, AFP reported, citing a union official.

It added that a source close to the sale said the buyer was Katara Hospitality, formerly known as Qatar National Hotels Company, which has previously said that Europe will play a key part in its expansion plans.
Earlier this year, Katara took over the ownership of two iconic Raffles properties in Singapore and Paris.
Le Parisien also reported that Qatar had backed out of a plan to finance a US$60m rejuvenation of some of Paris’ most rundown neighbourhoods and was instead putting the funds into backing small and medium sized enterprises.

By Shane McGinley, 24 June 2012