HK firm nears deal for UK’s ‘Cheeseg­rater’

New Straits Times - - Business -

HONG KONG: A Hong Kong prop­erty de­vel­oper has con­firmed the near com­ple­tion of its al­most US$1.5 bil­lion (RM6.48 bil­lion) pur­chase of Lon­don’s “Cheeseg­rater” tower, as it takes ad­van­tage of the pound’s slump to snap up ad­dresses in the Bri­tish cap­i­tal.

CC Land’s ac­qui­si­tion of the 224-me­tre-high­Lead­en­hall Build­ing, which earned its nick­name from its wedge shape, is the big­gest sin­gle prop­erty pur­chase in the United King­dom since 2014, when a Qatari wealth fund bought Lon­don’s HSBC Tower for £1.2 bil­lion (RM6.7 bil­lion).

The deal takes ad­van­tage of the slump in the pound, which plunged after the coun­try voted to leave the Euro­pean Union and is cur­rently trad­ing 12 per cent lower against the dol­lar.

“De­val­u­a­tion of the pound ster­ling is one of the ma­jor fac­tors to draw in­ter­ests to this mar­ket,” said CC Land in a fil­ing to the Hong Kong stock ex­change on May 1, con­firm­ing the US$1.47 bil­lion pur­chase from real es­tate gi­ant Bri­tish Land and Ox­ford Prop­er­ties.

“Both leas­ing as well as in­vest­ment de­mands in prime of­fice build­ings have re­mained strong,” the firm said in the fil­ing.

Bri­tain’s eco­nomic growth has slowed to its weak­est pace in a year, as the coun­try pre­pares for a gen­eral election over­shad­owed by its planned exit from the Euro­pean Union. AFP

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