By Ilias Bellos
Businesspeople associated with the royal family of Qatar are reportedly proceeding with the creation of a Greek investment group, which has already been logged on to the General Electronic Commercial Register (GEMI). The purpose of the group is to operate as an umbrella for investments already made by Qatar in Greece and as a future investor, mainly for placements in real estate. Market sources say that Qatar is gradually preparing the development and utilization of its properties.
The private investments of the Qatari royal family have so far been administered by real estate market officials from Lebanon and Greece. A company named Pimara appears as the owner of those properties, while a number of other enterprises, whose names start with Pima and who publish their financial reports in Greece, have a foreign chairman and a Greek chief financial officer. These companies have various properties among their assets.
In the last couple of years the royal family of Qatar has acquired significant properties in the Ionian Sea. It has bought the islets of Provati and Modi, with areas of 1 square kilometer and 0.2 sq.km. respectively, and 50 percent of Petalas islet.
It has also paid 5.6 million euros to buy Oxya island, according to the financial report of Pimara SA. Via a company it controls the royal family has bought the 250-room hotel Miramare on Corfu, and a plot of 15 sq.km. at Porto Vromi on the island of Zakynthos.
Market sources add that it is also interested in an 80,000 square meter plot in Vouliagmeni on Athens s southern coast being sold by the Church of Greece. Besides its focus on real estate, Qatar has also invested in various Greek enterprises: Qatar Petroleum International has acquired a 25 percent stake in the Heron II power production unit. Qatari groups had also expressed their interest in the development of the plot of the old Athens airport at Elliniko and the creation of an investment fund for the financing of Greek small and medium-sized enterprises.
Neither of these plans, however, bore fruit.