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Qatar and Dubai race for London

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Doug Krizner: Crude is at $83 a barrel, and that has enriched the coffers of governments in the Persian Gulf. They’re using their huge wells of cash to take over companies. This morning, two Gulf states are battling for a share in the London Stock Exchange. Stephen Beard reports from London.


Stephen Beard: Qatar and Dubai have been vying with each other to become the financial center in the Middle East. Now, the fight has shifted to London.

Dubai has just acquired 28 percent of the London Stock Exchange in a complicated deal with Nasdaq. Qatar is furious — it had been hoping to buy the stake itself. It’s now bought its own 21 percent share.

And, says Andrew Hilton of the CSFI think tank, a takeover battle is looming:

Andrew Hilton: It’s really reminiscent of what’s been going on in horse racing for the last 20 years, where all these little Gulf sheikdoms try to outdo one another by spending more and more money on faster and faster horses.

In Britain, unlike in the U.S., there’s no concern about any national security implications of the stock exchange being owned by a Middle Eastern government. Dubai and Qatar are both seen as friendly, pro-Western states.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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