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By Regan Doherty
DOHA, April 16 Qatar Holding, the investment arm
of the gas-rich Gulf nation's sovereign wealth fund, is set to
unveil a deal in the property and leisure sector in the Italian
island of Sardinia including a clutch of luxury hotels, a source
close to the matter said.
"It will be a big deal, and the Qatari emir will be in Italy
for the signing," he said.
The deal, for properties on the Costa Smeralda, or emerald
coast, is likely to be announced on Tuesday, the source said
speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public.
Costa Smeralda is a tourist destination in northern
Sardinia, which includes several luxury hotels and a golf club.
Qatar Holding, part of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA),
was not immediately reachable for comment.
The deal will be the latest in a string of European property
acquisitions by the tiny Gulf Arab state. The sovereign fund's
other high-profile investments include the upmarket Harrods
department store in London and the recent buy of Credit Suisse
headquarters in Canary Wharf.
Gulf-government backed funds have been on a buying spree in
Europe and are eyeing investments in real estate, infrastructure
and other sectors.
Qatar, through its $100 billion sovereign fund, also owns
stakes in luxury goods house LVMH and oil company
It also owns shares in Credit Suisse and has
recently been building up ownership in London-listed miner
Xstrata ahead of the company's possible merger with
commodities giant Glencore.
(Writing by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Sitaraman Shankar)