Qatar plans 10-bln-euro investment in France

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PARIS, Nov. 6 — The oil-rich Gulf country Qatar planned to invest billions of petrodollars in France to diversify its revenue away from the traditional energy business, local media reported on Tuesday.

“10 billion euros (12.8 billion U.S. dollars) will represent the value of Qatar fund to take shares in major French groups, or set up projects or seal partnerships in third countries,” AFP quoted Qatari ambassador Mohamed Jaham Al-Kuwari as saying.

“It is not finalized. It is an idea which is being studied,” he added.

Qatar, a major investor in U.S. and European assets, is also working to create a France-Quatar fund worth 300 million euros to bolster domestic small and medium sized enterprises, the ambassador said.

The Gulf state, which owns the world-famous Paris Saint Germain football club, had recently offered 50 million euros to finance business projects in France’s disadvantaged suburbs, a move widely criticised from left and right-wing groups. (1 euro = 1.28 U.S. dollars)