Some things are
indelibly associated with the city of London. Big Ben.
Red buses. Black cabs. Humongous sovereign wealth fund
This week, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co., a
subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA),
and Dutch pension-fund manager APG Groep signed an agreement that
will see them assume joint control of vast swathes of
residential property in the British capital.
QIA and APG have teamed up with British real estate
investor Delancey to create a new £1.4 billion
($1.9 billion) joint venture. The venture will take
ownership of Qatari Diar’s properties in the
Olympic Village in East London, along with a portfolio of
properties in South London owned by APG and Delancey. In
total, the new partnership will control 4,000 newly-built
rental homes and a further 1,000 that are currently under
Separately, Qatari Diar has announced plans to convert
the U.S. embassy building in Grosvenor Square into a
luxury hotel. The firm bought the property in 2009 and
plans to begin the $2 billion redevelopment after the
U.S. government moves to new offices in the Nine Elms
neighborhood of London next year.
GIC Invests in French Property
French real estate also attracted sovereign wealth
funds’ interest this week. On Wednesday,
announced it has purchased a 25
percent stake in Paris-based property-management firm
CeGeREAL for approximately €35.65 per share or
€119 million ($135 million), giving the company a
valuation of €476.7 million.
The seller was New York-based global real estate
investment firm Northwood Investors, which will continue
to hold a majority stake in CeGeREAL.
As it buys in France, however, GIC is preparing to sell
in Germany. GIC has reportedly put the O2 Tower in Munich
on the market for €350 million ($398 million). GIC
bought the office building for €300 million (then
$382 million) in 2006.
CPPIB Buys Glencore Unit for $2.5 Billion
Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore has spent much of the
last year trying to offload assets as it grapples with
plunging commodities prices and soaring debts —
and its ongoing difficulties have created investment
opportunities for government funds.
This week the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
(CPPIB) stepped in to acquire a 40 percent stake in
Glencore’s agriculture unit, Glencore
Agricultural Products (Glencore Agri), for $2.5 billion.
CPPIB beat reported interest from GIC and QIA to secure
SAFE Resumes Efforts to Support Chinese Stocks
China's State Administration of Foreign
(SAFE), which manages the country's vast
foreign-exchange reserves and regulates the yuan, has
reportedly restarted its bulk purchases of Chinese bank
SAFE was part of the so-called national team of investors
that Beijing powerbrokers instructed to buy Chinese
A-shares to support the volatile domestic equities
markets in mid-2015. And the organization reportedly
resumed its share-buying drive late last year using a
little-known subsidiary called Wutongshu Investment
Wutongshu spent RMB 27 billion ($4.2 billion) on Chinese
shares in the fourth quarter of 2015, buying large stakes
in several major financial institutions including Bank of
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the
country’s biggest lender.