Wednesday, Jul 04, 2012
(This story was originally published Tuesday)
DOHA (Zawya Dow Jones)--Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, plans to open Harrods-style hotels in major cities around the world in a bid to expand the iconic London department store brand.
The fund wants to open Harrods-branded hotels in Kuala Lumpur, London, New York, Paris and China, Qatar Holding said in a statement Tuesday. It will look to develop sites already owned by Qatar, such as the Chelsea Barracks in London and the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, it added.
"Qatar Holding ultimately intends to grow Harrods into a global enterprise that defines the luxury retail and leisure sectors," it said.
Qatar Holding, which bought London luxury department store Harrods for around $2.3 billion in 2010, signed a Memorandum of Understanding Tuesday with Malaysia's Jerantas Sdn Bhd to study the development of a Harrods hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Qatar said it would establish a hotel-management company to run feasibility studies and select suitable sites around the world.
The wealthy Gulf state owns an impressive list of trophy assets around the globe, including stakes in Credit Suisse Group AG (CS, CSGN.VX) and Barclays PLC (BCS, BARC.LN), and has been one of the most active international investors in recent years, sweeping up bargains in the wake of the financial crisis.
Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, controls over $100 billion of assets.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires