UAE billionaire closes in on Portsmouth

DUBAI - Abu Dhabi billionaire Sulaiman al-Fahim plans to complete a deal to buy English Premier League club Portsmouth within two weeks, Arabian Business reported on Wednesday. Al-Fahim will speak to fans at the Portsmouth Football Supporters Club in London on July 11 about his plans for the team, the Dubai-based magazine reported. Fahim, a board member of the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment which bought Manchester City last year, told Reuters negotiations for Portsmouth were still "in process" and that he hoped to conclude the deal in July. Football, viewed as a high profile and glamorous industry, is being targeted for investment by Gulf Arab firms as Western investors tighten their belts in the global economic slowdown. The United Arab Emirates is the world's third-largest oil exporter and the capital Abu Dhabi controls 90 percent of the country's oil reserves. Flush with petrodollars from soaring oil prices, Abu Dhabi has been investing abroad to diversify its economy.