Qatar fund buys a fifth of Hong Kong retailer

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DOHA (Oct 20): Qatar's sovereign wealth fund said Monday it had bought a 19.9 percent stake in Hong Kong-based retail operator Lifestyle International Holdings for $600 million (470 million euros).

The Qatar Investment Authority said the acquisition was part of its strategy in "diversifying" its investments and "expanding into new markets in Asia", according to a statement published on the official QNA news agency.

Founded in 2005 and headed by Qatar's emir, QIA has invested billions of dollars in businesses ranging from Germany's Volkswagen to French energy giant Total, Britain's Sainsbury's supermarket chain and Barclays Bank.

Its assets are estimated at $100-$200 billion.

Lifestyle International Holdings operates a number of retail outlets including the Sogo department store in Hong Kong.