QATAR takes advantage of crisis to take important stakes in top luxury brands

This weeks annoucement that the State of QATAR has purchased a strategic 17% of the newly merged VOLKSWAGEN/PORSCHE company follows the annoucements that Italian luxury brand PRADA has been in discussions with a Qatar Royal family member for the sale of an important state. PRADA is in a very difficult situation, following 2 months of struggles by its consortium creditors to re-finance the almost EUR 1 billion loan.
Market sources in the Middle East have also indicated the State of QATAR has expressed an interest for the SHANGRI LA luxury hotels chains. The latest Shangri La opens this summer in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
A major exporter of gas and oil, QATAR has been taking smart steps in a strategy to become the leading economy in the Middle East. The State is also taking advantage of the deep crisis of the Dubai real estate market and has made several acquisitions in the past 2 months. In the region, QATAR has also recognized the potential of emerging SYRIA, its leading bank QNB making a large investment early August 2009.