Saudi and Kuwaiti money returns to London property despite Brexit

The glamor and history of London continue to appeal to international investors. This year saw Gulf-based investors renew their interest. (Reuters)
Updated 30 April 2019

Saudi and Kuwaiti money returns to London property despite Brexit

  • Preliminary data for the first quarter has seen two transactions worth almost $171 million put Saudi Arabia and Kuwait back on the London commercial property investment leader board
  • Taking into account the UK’s planned departure from the EU, Knight Frank expects the central London commercial property market to remain robust

LONDON: Property broker Knight Frank estimates there is as much as £40 billion targeting real estate assets in London this year despite a sharp retreat by Gulf-based investors in 2018.
Preliminary data for the first quarter has seen two transactions worth almost $171 million put Saudi Arabia and Kuwait back on the London commercial property investment leader board for 2019.
Taking into account the UK’s planned departure from the EU, which has dented confidence in some property sectors, Knight Frank expects the central London commercial property market to remain robust and supported by strong letting demand for prime property.
That was supported by a record letting this week when 37-year-old hedge fund boss Ravi Mehta agreed a £250-a-square foot rent for an office in Mayfair to be occupied by his firm, Steadview Capital Management.
“Despite the uncertainty thrown up by Brexit, there are bigger macro political considerations that are helping to cement London’s position as the number one global property investment destination,” said Faisal Durrani, an associate at Knight Frank.
“During 2018, the city beat other major global gateway locations including New York, Tokyo, Paris and Singapore, claiming the crown for the largest volume of commercial property investment globally, which amounted to £16.2 billion. This is on par with the level recorded in 2017, highlighting the depth of demand for London’s commercial assets.”
However Gulf investment fell sharply last year.
“For those from the Gulf, investment volumes, as always, remain volatile, with Bahrainis and Qataris committing $39.5 million and $471 million last year, which was up 125 percent and 34 percent, respectively, on 2017, according to RCA,” said Durrani.
While 2017 saw just over $2 billion spent by GCC investors on London commercial assets, this figure fell to just over $1 billion in 2018, with investment from the UAE down most notably by 88 percent to $132 million.


Egypt expects several share offerings by end of year

Updated 15 September 2019

Egypt expects several share offerings by end of year

  • One small company worth about 50 million Egyptian pounds was also expected to offer shares on the Nile Stock Exchange

CAIRO: Egypt expects two state companies and one private pharmaceuticals firm worth more than $61.3 million, or one billion Egyptian pounds, to make share offerings by the end of the year, an official at the Financial Regulatory Authority said on Sunday.
One small company worth about 50 million Egyptian pounds was also expected to offer shares on the Nile Stock Exchange, which specializes in small and medium sized enterprises, said Sayed Abdel Fadeel, head of the authority’s corporate finance department. He did not name the companies.
Egypt promised to sell minority stakes in several state companies in late 2018 but postponed the offerings following emerging market turbulence.