Qatar Buys Stake in Empire State Building

Arab investors continue to accelerate their hunt for yield. The Qatar Investment Authority just revealed that it bought a stake in the real-estate investment trust that owns the iconic Empire State Building in Manhattan. The allocation is part of an established diversification strategy; the sovereign wealth fund opened a New York office last year. But the move is a sober one for an institutional name better known for high-flying investments in commodity trader Glencore or fashion brand Balmain. In contrast, REITs are diversified entities that deliver steady, measured returns. The $622 million decision affirms that investors should brace for an extended period of lackluster global performance. And the timing of the deal is a subtle reminder that REITs can be less interest-rate sensitive than commonly believed.

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