(Reuters) – Qatar is expected to be the largest source of global real estate capital during 2010, real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle said in a report published on Sunday.
The country, which has emerged as “a new global powerhouse,” is expected to rank as the number one global overseas investor in 2010, according to the firm.
“Cash-rich and with a strong appetite for splashy overseas assets, Qatari vehicles have lately outshone their counterparts from the region and are projected to carry on with their rapid expansion across the real estate world,” the report said.
Recent investments — such as the purchase of London department store Harrods in May for around 1.5 billion pounds — are likely to be followed by further investments in other markets across Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia, it said.
“Qatar is the epitome of energy-rich GCC nations, with a large appetite for real estate investment, fueled by the rapid growth in oil and gas revenues over recent years,” the report said.
Qatar’s competitive advantage will be helped by the decline in investment from German funds, which were among the major global investors in 2009, the report said.
Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, was one of the fastest growing economies worldwide in 2009.
Its economy grew at an average pace of 17.4 percent over the past five years and it is set to largely outperform fellow Gulf oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in coming years.
A Reuters poll in April showed that Qatar’s economy was likely to expand by 16.1 percent this year.
(Reporting by Regan E. Doherty; Editing by Dinesh Nair)