Qatar's QFIB inks deal for London real estate debut

Qatar First Investment Bank sees 'attractive opportunity' to enter UK property market
Leinster Inn Hotel.
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 16 Sep 2012 05:20 PM

Qatar First Investment Bank on Sunday said it had acquired two properties in prime locations in Central London.

It has taken on The Leinster Inn Hotel at Leinster Square, and Westbourne House, Westbourne Grove, London as part of a consortium of investors from the GCC, the company said in a statement.

It did not give the value of the purchases.

"Due to the growing global demand for London's prime residential property sector, these deals presented themselves as an attractive opportunity for QFIB to enter the UK market," QFIB chief executive Emad Mansour said in the statement.

"We are optimistic that once the conversion of the properties is complete, they will be attractive to international buyers who are looking to invest in prime properties which in return will yield substantial returns to our investors."

He added that the objective of these acquisitions was to capitalise on the growing demand for real estate in central London by converting both properties into high-end luxury residential apartments.

The consortium has appointed the Alchemi Group as development manager.

The Leinster Inn is a grade II building that dates back to 1857 while Westbourne House, a 1980s office building, features 35,047 sq ft of office and retail space.

London property prices have outperformed the wider mainstream market in recent years, underpinned by continued demand from local and overseas buyers, despite the economic turmoil since the financial crisis.

Knight Frank forecasts this trend to continue, particularly in areas that will benefit from improved transport links, regeneration, and increased demand.

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