The current depression in the UK property market has attracted the interest of sovereign wealth funds. But while a number of concerns have been raised, these are mostly unfounded
The state of the market has alerted one group of investors – the sovereign wealth fund (SWF) – as well as investors who have not traditionally been big players in the UK property market. Qatari-based funds are now behind the development of the Shard of Glass and Chelsea Barracks, while a Kuwaiti fund acquired the Willis Building from British Land. The activity has not been limited to direct investments, but includes the acquisition of listed property companies, with Gazeley and Minerva gaining the attention of Dubai-based funds over the past few months.
The headlines about money coming from Russia and the former Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has been principally focused on high-value residential properties in London, but Russian investors are also starting to pick up commercial assets, such as the 50 per cent stake in Beetham’s development at Blackfriars by the Moscow-based Mirax Group.
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