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Qatar denies M&S bid

STATE-owned Qatar Investment Authority has rejected claims it is in the running for the purchase of the Marks and Spencer Group.

News was circulating that the authority wanted to assemble a consortium to mount a €9.3bn takeover of the clothing, home and food retailer. The QIA is already a 26pc shareholder in UK group J Sainsbury. Shares in Marks & Spencer rose 8pc yesterday after the suggestions that the group was sounding out interest.