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Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, plans to open an office in China to boost its investments in Asia, a newspaper reported on Monday.

“Asia is a growing market for us — we are really serious about funding the right opportunity there,” The Peninsula quoted chief executive officer Ahmad Al-Sayed as saying in comments to the Financial Times.

The Qatar Investment Authority, the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, has an office in India.

Qatar’s economy is expected to grow in real terms by 7 to 9 percent in 2009. Opec member Qatar is the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas.

Al-Sayed said the fund, which is estimated to control about $70 billion in assets, said it would also continue investments in Europe and look at the United States.

“We are also investing in Europe, US and Asia – they have already taken and continue to hold our close attention,” he said. “But Latin America and other emerging markets are also on the agenda.”

Qatar Holding said in October it had become the largest shareholder in Songbird Estates, owner of much of London’s Canary Wharf business hub.

Al-Sayed declined to comment on whether it would take part in planned fund raising for Royal Bank of Scotland or Lloyds or raising its stake in UK retailer J Sainsbury. – Reuters


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