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Qatar amasses €2.4 billion stake in Siemens

Doha Insurance Company exceeds 3 percent threshold on May 7; Qatar adds Siemens to portfolio of German holdings; Already owns stakes in Volkswagen, Porsche SE and Hochtief; Shares down 1 percent, lag European sector index

May 17, 2012 11:16 by

The Gulf state of Qatar accumulated a small stake in Siemens, Germany’s most valuable company, worth roughly €2.4 billion ($3.08 billion), adding to the natural gas-rich country’s portfolio of minority investments around the world.


In a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, the German industrial group said that a subsidiary of the state-owned Doha Insurance Company (DIC) had exceeded the 3 percent threshold in voting shares on May 7, which triggered the mandatory disclosure.


The Gulf nation’s immense supply of natural gas have made it so rich, it has been snapping up assets at a breakneck pace as it struggles to find enough attractive investment opportunities to keep up with its constantly growing cash pile.


As a result, Qatar has been the most active of the Gulf region’s sovereign investors in recent years, buying stakes in companies including Credit Suisse, Barclays, Agricultural Bank of China, Santander Brasil as well as London’s famed Harrods department store.


Alone in Germany it controls a 17 percent voting stake in Volkswagen and one-tenth of the unlisted common shares in automotive holding Porsche SE. The state also owns a holding in construction group Hochtief.


Last week, sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) bought a stake in Royal Dutch Shell, and earlier reports said that it was looking at a 3-5 percent stake.


($1 = 0.7789 euros)

(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner and Regan Doherty)

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