South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) and BlackRock are selling London office properties at what could be regarded as a high point in the city’s investment cycle.
NPS is, according to media reports, selling the headquarters of HSBC at London’s Canary Wharf for an estimated £1.1bn (€1.42bn). NPS paid around £800m for the tower in 2009.
Meanwhile, Korean Teachers’ Credit Union and a pool of Asian investors led by Gaw Capital have paid £191m for Blackrock’s Exchange Tower. BlackRock inherited the asset when it bought MGPA, which paid £134m for the asset in 2010.
Gaw Capital, adviser and co-investor in the deal, said it was structured as a forward sale and is its fifth in London on behalf of Asian clients.
Chairman and managing principal, Goodwin Gaw said the firm was seeing more opportunities to assist Asian investors going overseas.
“London is one of the key global gateway cities with high liquidity,” he said.
“The combination of attractive yield, trophy quality asset, and attractive long-term debt makes London a particularly compelling market for core real estate investments.”
While Blackrock’s sale is proof of the sustained appetite for London offices, the sale by NPS of HSBC’s headquarters is a potential early sign of investors cashing out of the UK capital.