3/6/2013 1:57 PM ET|
Qatar's royal family bags some bargain Greek islands
The emir's purchase also signals stronger financial ties between the oil-rich Gulf state and Europe's most-bankrupt country.
Qatar's royal family is doing just that. It's buying six Greek islands in the Ionian Sea for a mere $11 million (€8.5million) to create a private family resort. The deal is one of the largest private investments ever in Greece, whose ongoing debt crisis has made it the European Union's most bankrupt country.
And the emir of Qatar apparently knows how to drive a hard bargain. The first of the islands for sale, uninhabited Oxia, was originally offered at $9.13 million (€7 million) before its owner agreed to $6.93 million (€4.9 million).
"The islands have been in my family for over 150 years but we are not rich enough to be able to keep such valuable properties any longer," Denis Grivas told The Guardian. He cited the sky-high property taxes he's been paying since the start of the Greek debt crisis and deep recession: "We are very, very happy to see them go. They have been on the market for nearly 40 years."
Greece's government is apparently happy to have attracted investment from oil-rich Qatar. The Financial Times reports the sale of Oxia came four weeks after Greek Premier Antonis Samaras flew to Qatar to rebuild financial ties with the wealthy Gulf state.
"Our country offers important investment opportunities," Samaras recently told SETimes.com. "We experienced a dramatic crisis but it has made us wiser, more decisive and stronger."
And along with supplying personal playgrounds for Qatari royalty, analysts see the stronger economic ties as an economic lifeline for Greece. According to The Economist, Qatar is also looking to develop a large coastal site in Athens and possibly having the Greek capital as the European hub for its national airline, Qatar Airways.
"Qatar has invested a lot of funds in Italy, France and now they see Greece as an opportunity to invest [because of the recession] and prices are low in various sectors," John Nomikos, who heads the Athens-based Research Institute in European and American Studies, told SETimes.
"The Qataris know the capitalist model very well and they also know that Greece will recover from recession in the future," he added, "so their investment is going to offer them profits."
Don't think, however, the emir's representatives had an easy time with the actual purchase of the Greek islands. The deal took about 18 months to finalize.
"Greece is that kind of place," Ioannis Kassianos, the Greek-American mayor of Ithaca, told the Guardian. Ithaca has administrative responsibility for Oxia. "Even when you buy an island, even if you are the emir of Qatar, it takes a year and a half for all the paperwork to go through."
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.
Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More
More Market News
Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'