Politics and finance mingled in London and Paris this week,
as state visits precipitated a raft of co-investment agreements
between government institutions. Elsewhere, the Abu Dhabi
Investment Authority and Canada’s Caisse de
Dépôt sealed big real estate deals.
Xi’s Royal Welcome
There was much pomp and circumstance in London this week as
the British government rolled out the red carpet (and a
diamond-studded royal coach) to welcome Chinese President Xi
Jinping. The U.K. and Chinese governments have signed business
deals worth £25 billion ($38 billion) during
Xi’s visit, including an agreement to develop
nuclear power plants in England.
Also on the agenda? Luxury cruises. On Thursday Xi and
British Prime Minister David Cameron attended the launch of a
new partnership between the $747 billion China Investment Corp., American-British
cruise operator Carnival Corp. and the China State Shipbuilding
Corp. (CSSC). Together the partners will launch the first
multi-ship luxury cruise franchise in China.
The French government also received an eminent guest this
week: Kuwaiti Prime Minister Jaber al-Mubarak al-Hamad
al-Sabah. The state visit prompted a slew of trade and
investment agreements. A case in point: The $592
billion Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and
French pension fund Caisse des Dépôts et
Consignations have entered discussions over a €1 billion
($1.1 billion) joint venture to invest in France.
Canada’s Caisse de Dépôt Agrees
New York Property Deal
Montreal-based Ivanhoé Cambridge, the real estate unit
of $195 billion Canadian pension fund Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du
Québec (CDPQ), has teamed up with private equity
behemoth Blackstone Group to purchase Stuyvesant Town and Peter
Cooper Village, a complex of 11,200 apartments in New York
City, for approximately $5.3 billion from Washington D.C.-based
real estate firm CWCapital Asset Management.
The development, built after World War II to house veterans, is
one of the last bastions of affordable housing in Manhattan and
supports 30,000 residents. Under the terms of the deal, the new
owners will keep almost half of the apartments below market
rates for 20 years in exchange for $225 million in tax breaks
offered by the local government.
ADIA Eyes Hard Assets
The $621 billion Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is eyeing
more direct investments in real estate and infrastructure.
A consortium comprising ADIA’s subsidiary Tawreed
Investments, Melbourne-based toll-road operator Transurban
Group and pension fund AustralianSuper is reportedly set to bid
A$1.7 billion ($1.2 billion) for Brisbane-based toll-road
operator BrisConnections, which operates a highway network that
links Brisbane airport with the center of the city. The
consortium purchased another Australian toll road operator,
Queensland Motorways, for A$7.1 billion last year.
In Brazil, ADIA is teaming up with São Paulo-based
property developer Iron House Real Estate to build the
country’s Four Seasons-branded resort. ADIA and
Iron House (a subsidiary of conglomerate Cornélio
Brennand Group) expect the 254-room Four Seasons Hotel
São Paulo at Nações Unidas to open in
2017. The development will also include 84 private residences.
The Toronto-based hospitality company Four Seasons Hotels will
manage the resort.