Samsung Life Insurance Co., insurance arm of South Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group, is in talks to sell an office building in London to a Singapore-based property development company for 425 million pounds ($545.5 million) to secure funds to raise its capital.
According to multiple industry sources on Tuesday, Samsung Life Insurance is seeking to sell 30 Greshem Street building in London to Wing Tai Holdings Ltd. for 425 million pounds.
The 30 Greshem Street building that covers 37,160 square meter area has been let to Commerzbank as its London headquarters and global asset manager Investec among others. The building is located in the heart of London near UK’s central bank, the Bank of England.
Samsung Life Insurance purchased the office building for 310 million pounds in 2013 in hopes to earn long-term, stable rental income. Industry sources noted that Samsung Life Insurance has decided to sell the property five years after its purchase to secure capital ahead of the planned introduction of International Financial Reporting Standard 17.
Investors from Asia including Singapore and Korea, meanwhile, have been highly motivated to invest in properties in London to leverage from weak pound after Britain’s decision to leave the European Union while real estate prices in their own countries have skyrocketed. The pound has fallen by more than 10 percent against the euro since the Brexit vote in 2016. According to global estate agency Knight Frank, 65 percent of overseas investors that spent 5.6 billion pounds on commercial buildings in London in the first six months of this year were from Asia.
By Park Man-won and Lee Eun-joo
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