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Qatari investors increase holding in London's 'Shard'

Qatari investors bought 80 per cent of "the Shard," London's first office tower planned to rise over 1,000 feet (305 metres), after the skyscraper's developers struggled to fund the project. Three banks including the Qatar National Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank and a real estate investor will provide most of the initial financing for the 1.4-million-square foot project, due to be completed in 2011, the Shard's London-based developer said yesterday. The Qataris have bought out CLS Holdings PLC and real estate entrepreneur Simon Halabi, who each owned 33 per cent, while developer Sellar Property Group has cut its holding to 20 per cent. CLS sold its stake in the Shard for £30-million ($60.5-million) on Jan. 10.

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