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9 Jul, 2013

China’s Ping An Insurance to buy Lloyds Building in London: Savills


LONDON, July 8 (Xinhua) — Ping An Insurance Group agreed to purchase the Lloyds Building from Commerz Real, a German closed-end fund, for 260 million pounds (388 million U.S. dollars), London-based property broker Savills said Monday.

The transaction represents the first purchase by a Chinese insurance company in Britain.

The Lloyds Building, a landmark property designed by Richard Rogers, is home to the world’s leading insurance market and let in its entirety to the Society of Lloyds on a lease expiring in 2031.

The building is located in the City of London and was purchased by Commerz Real in 2005 for 231 million pounds.

“This is a potentially landmark transaction, given it is the first by a Chinese Insurance company overseas. It is a high profile and confident entry to the market for them and further illustrates the dominance of overseas investors in London at present,”said Jon Crossfield, director at Savills’ Central London team.

“We are delighted with the transaction and it has been a major success for our investors. The current liquidity and investor demand within the London market presented an ideal time for us to seek an exit in line with our original business plan,” said Roland Holschuh, a member of the Management Board of Commerz Real.

Chinese enterprises have announced two huge investments in London real estate market this year. ABP Chinese signed an agreement worth 1 billion pounds to transform the Royal Albert Dock in eastern London into a business port this May.

Dalian Wanda Group announced last month that it is investing 700 million pounds to build a luxury hotel in London.