Qatar bets on Hong Kong prime real estate

Qatar Investment Authority's purchase of a stake in Lifestyle is a bet on its prime Sogo property.

Qatar Investment Authority's recent purchase of a one-fifth stake in Hong Kong department store operator Lifestyle International seems like a strange way for the sovereign fund to plant its flag in the territory.

These are tough times for Hong Kong retailers as mainland spending looks set to decline. Of late, the company's Sogo store in Causeway Bay has also been beseiged by Hong Kong protestors who have camped out on the stretch of road near the store at the heart of the territory's shopping district. Although their numbers have dwindled, the outlook for retail sales remains less than upbeat.

However, according to a source familiar with the...

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