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PORTA AUTHORITY: Qatar Holding LLC, the investment fund controlled by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), has boosted its stake in Milan’s Porta Nuova project to 100  from 40 percent, after signing a deal with Hines Italia Sgr, an Italian firm specialized in managing real estate assets.

Porta Nuova, valued at more than 2 billion euros, or $2.24 billion at current exchange, is a sprawling business, residential and garden complex near Garibaldi station, less than a mile from Milan’s Duomo cathedral. Alexander McQueen, Nike and Limoni are among the brands that have snapped up retail spaces in Milan’s newest hub, while companies such as Canali, Pandora and Google have moved their local offices there.

“QIA’s acquisition is an extremely positive signal for Italy in terms of the country’s attractiveness to the most important international corporate investors,” said Manfredi Catella, chief executive officer of Hines Italia.

Qatar Holding LLC has shopped around Italy before: The fund owns the Four Seasons Hotel in Florence, as well as four luxury hotels in Sardinia. In 2012, together with Fondo Strategico Italiano, the group created IQ Made in Italy, a venture focused on Italian brand investments.

 

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