Qatar Still in Talks to Buy EADS Stake: Report

Qatar's $60 billion sovereign wealth fund is still in talks to invest in EADS, more than seven months after saying it could buy as much 10 percent of Airbus' parent, Dubai's Emirates Today reported on Tuesday.

"They are still talking to us, but I'm not sure if it is going to be a significant share," EADS Chief Executive Officer Louis Gallois told the paper on the sidelines of the Dubai air show.

The Qatar Investment Authority said in March it was interested in buying as much as 10 percent of EADS as part of plans to diversify its investments.

The fund, which invests the surplus revenues of the oil and gas exporter, manages $60 billion in assets, Standard Chartered estimated last month.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters in Dubai on Oct. 19 that Qatar was no longer interested in buying shares in EADS.

The Qatar Investment Authority already has indirect ownership of EADS through French group Lagardere and a Dubai fund.

Qatar said in March it held 7 percent of Lagardere. That would have made the Qatar Investment Authority Lagardere's third-largest shareholder and would mark a 1 percentage point increase in its stake since June 2006, according to Reuters data.

Qatar has also contributed to a fund managed by Dubai International Capital, which said in July it bought 3.12 of EADS.

"We would be more than happy if Dubai wants to buy more (of) our free float," Gallois said, according to the paper.

The Qatar Investment Authority's Delta Two fund called off a 10.6 billion pound ($22.05 billion) bid for Britain's third largest supermarket group, J. Sainsbury, this month, citing worsening credit markets and the cost of winning support from the firm's pension trustees.