DUBAI, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Qatar's Barwa Real Estate
is looking to invest in the London property market before the
end of the year, the company's deputy group chief executive said
"We're looking for a few investments in Europe, mainly
London. We're interested in hotels, business towers and hope to
finalise an investment before year end," Ahmad Abdulla al-
Abdulla told Reuters on the sidelines of the Cityscape real
estate conference in Dubai. He did not give details on potential
targets or how much the company is willing to invest in Europe.
The oil rich state's sovereign wealth fund has spent 5.7
billion euros ($7.36 billion) on real estate since 2007, almost
80 percent of it in London and Paris, August data from research
firm Real Capital Analytics showed.
Barwa, the Gulf Arab state's largest listed property
developer, has investments in the U.K., France, Switzerland and
Turkey, and owns a building in London's upmarket Mayfair
Barwa's main focus is on developing projects in the local
Qatari real estate market ahead of the soccer World Cup in 2022.
"The company's international business makes up between 10-20
percent of our overall portfolio. We're focusing on Qatar but
also looking at buying property in the U.K.," he said, noting
that asset valuations in London have become attractive.
Investors from Qatar have embarked on a shopping spree in
London over the past few years b uying a stake in Songbird
Estates, owner of London's second financial district
Canary Wharf, luxury department store Harrods and the European
Union's tallest skyscraper, the S hard.
Barwa may tap banks to part-finance a major project in Doha
as early as next year, the company's deputy group chief
executive said on Tuesday.
"The project will be financed through 30-40 percent equity
and 20 percent bank lending with the rest from pre-sales," Al
Abdulla said, adding that the project is a 50/50 partnership
with Bahraini investment firm Arcapita.
"We don't plan a bond issue anytime soon but hope to talk to
banks for the financing of the project next year, that's if
Located within the planned coastal Lusail City north of the
capital Doha, the project will include 4,000 residential units
and a golf course, and is expected to be ready by 2018.
Barwa is 45-percent-owned by Qatari Diar, the property arm
of the country's acquisitive sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar
It posted a 21.1 percent drop in its net profit for the
first half of 2012 at 593.6 million riyals, versus 752.5 million
riyals in the same period of 2011.
The company focuses on retail, office, hospitality and
($1 = 3.6411 Qatar rials)
($1 = 0.7749 euros)
(Additional reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Dinesh Nair and
(email@example.com; +971 4 391 8301; Reuters