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Sun 23 Feb 2020 03:42 PM

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Middle East investors eye opportunities outside London

CBRE revealed that investment into the UK from the Middle East in 2019 was down 60% on 2018

Middle East investors eye opportunities outside London

Birmingham canal ... London is being overlooked as the preferred destination for Middle East capital in favour of UK regions, like Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool Edinburgh and Glasgow.


Investors from the Middle East are eyeing more opportunities outside of the UK capital, looking to regional cities instead of London, according to global real estate advisor CBRE.

London, the long-time favoured destination for investors, is being overlooked as the preferred destination for Middle East capital in favour of UK regions, like Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool Edinburgh and Glasgow.

According to the property advisor, CBRE, Middle East investors deployed £880m into the UK regions in 2019, compared to £650m in Central London.

CBRE revealed that investment into the UK from the Middle East in 2019 was down 60% on 2018, falling from £3.7bn to £1.5bn.

Middle East investors deployed £230m in Scotland with transactions taking place in all of the major cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. This included the £27m acquisition of Centrica’s HQ in Edinburgh by BLME/Darin Partners.

Other notable transactions around the UK included the largest regional transaction of the year, the £140m purchase of the Lewis Building and Priory Court in Birmingham by GII (bought by Gulf Islamic Investments which has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi) as well as the £68m purchase of the Exchange Flags office building in Liverpool by Ashtrom and Al Duwaliya’s purchase of Eagle House office building in Bristol.

Chris Brett, Head of EMEA Capital Markets, CBRE said: “In 2019 we saw a number of Middle East investors dispose of their London assets as they reached the end of their investment cycles, including the sale of 25 Canada Square, Citibank’s HQ. This group of investors have long been active in cities outside of London having invested £6bn the UK regions in the last five years. However, this is the first-time regional investment activity has exceeded that in London. Investors are increasingly attracted by the high levels of investment into regional infrastructure and the opportunity to achieve greater yields.”

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