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|| UK real estate property attracts Middle eastern investors - FT

Middle Eastern investors has tripled its share of investment in UK commercial property in the past five years. Last year, investors from the Arab world spent $2.2 billion on UK commercial property – 16% of all foreign investment in the sector - The Financial Times is reporting

According to FT, the Middle East has tripled its share of investment in UK commercial property in the past five years. Last year, investors from the Arab world spent $2.2 billion on UK commercial property – 16 per cent of all foreign investment in the sector, compared with 5 per cent in 2004.

The full Financial Times story follows

The Middle East has tripled its share of investment in UK commercial property in the past five years, with the oil-rich Gulf seeking to take advantage of sharp falls in British real estate prices.

Last year, investors from the Arab world spent £1.48bn ($2.2bn, €1.79bn) on UK commercial property – 16 per cent of all foreign investment in the sector, compared with 5 per cent in 2004, according to Trowers & Hamlins, an international law firm. The firm, which has offices in Britain and the Middle East, said the region’s investors had increased their exposure to take advantage of the fall in property prices, with the UK looking particularly attractive because of sterling’s devaluation against the US dollar.

With the exception of Kuwait, all Arab Gulf states peg their currencies to the dollar. The region’s wealthier governments were also able to build up significant financial reserves during the 2003-08 oil boom, making them cash-rich during the UK property downturn.

“Gulf-based investors have already made some really attractive profits from investments made at the bottom of the market,” said Nicholas Edmondes, a partner at Trowers & Hamlins. “Unlike investment funds, most of them have not faced significant problems with redemptions or, like property companies, needed to sell their assets to pay down debt.”

The gas-rich nation of Qatar has acquired a port-folio of trophy assets in London , including Chelsea Barracks and the Shard London Bridge skyscraper.

Last week, Barwa, part of Qatari Diar, bought the Park House development in London's West End from Land Securities for £250m.

Jadwa Investment, part-owned by the Saudi royal family, teamed up with CIT, a European property investor, to acquire King's Reach Tower on London's south bank for £60m last week.



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