Italian PM Monti seals investment deal with Qatar

Written by Reuters | Doha | Updated: Nov 20 2012, 07:04am hrs
Energy-rich Qatar agreed to invest as much as 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in Italian companies on Monday, aiding efforts by Italy's prime minister Mario Monti to breathe life into a weak economy.

Italy has joined a growing list of European states looking to tap the Qatar's vast wealth to support national industries struggling to finance their way out of recession. A joint venture between Italy's strategic investment fund and state-owned Qatar Holding will invest in sectors including food, fashion and luxury goods, furniture and design, tourism and leisure, the Italian fund said in a statement on Monday. The venture will have capital of up to 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) provided equally by both partners over the first four years, according to the agreement signed during a visit to the small, energy-rich Gulf state by Monti.