JPMorgan heads list of big buyers of London property

Companies including JPMorgan and Chinese Estates Group continue to spend millions in London.

A JPMorgan Asset Management has been the biggest overseas investor in London over the past five years.

The second biggest was another American concern, Beacon Capital, followed, surprisingly, by Spanish and Irish companies.

Among the biggest JPMorgan deals were 25 Bank Street in Canary Wharf, for £495 million (Dh2.96 billion), and Bishop's Square on the edge of the City for £557m last December. It also bought 33 St Mary Axe, close to the Gherkin building in the City, for £72.5m last year.

The Abu Dhabi Royal Family is now the second-largest owner of London property, according to Property Week magazine. It has been buying property in the capital for more than a decade and its first major deal was to obtain a large chunk of the Berkeley Square estate from the BP Pension Fund in 2001 for £300m. Chinese Estates Group, the property investor based in Hong Kong, bought part of Goldman Sachs's London headquarters in February for £280m, as part of a strategy to diversify outside its home territory.

Last month it emerged that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, akin to a sovereign wealth fund, worth about US$139bn (Dh831.7bn), said it was planning to spend $500m on offices in London and Paris. The £260m purchase of 10 Aldermanbury Square in the City this year is understood to have been on behalf of HKMA.

The building is leased to JPMorgan until 2025 and the deal was the second biggest in the City in the first six months of the year.

The biggest deal in the City most recently is believed to have been the £288m purchase of the Aviva Tower, from the receivers, by Wilmar, a private Far Eastern investor.

Meanwhile, St Martins Property, the property investment unit of the Kuwait Investment Authority, has instructed one London agency, Savills, to help it to invest £1.5bn in the City.

St Martins already owns the Willis Building and 150 Cheapside, near St Paul's Cathedral.

Published: August 16, 2011 04:00 AM


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