Prime City offices
are on the agenda for many commercial property investors from South Korea.
In an effort to diversify their portfolios, South Korean investment vehicles are placing cash into London, as the returns are seen as high compared to the relatively low risk, the Financial Times explained.
The world's fourth-largest pension fund, the South Korean National Pension Service (NPS), previously purchased HSBC's headquarters in Canary Wharf for £773 million.
Last month, it was revealed NPS - which holds assets of $320 billion (£201 billion) - is to open London offices
to support its recent investments in the UK, which also includes several significant commercial property developments and a 12 per cent stake in Gatwick Airport.
Some of the developments include a 50 per cent share worth £85 million in 40 Grosvenor Place and 88 Wood Street, which was purchased for £183 million.
Speaking to the Financial Times about NPS, researcher at the Korea Capital Market Institute Nam Jae-woo said: "Its assets under management are growing sharply so they are bound to invest abroad because the domestic market is too small for them."
The news that NPS is to open London offices
came as deputy prime minister Nick Clegg met with the vehicle's chair Jun Kwang-woo in Seoul. The pension fund also has an office in New York.
Mr Clegg commented at the time: "Investment in infrastructure is a virtuous circle, growing our manufacturing and construction sectors and making Britain more attractive for further investment.
"We're ramping up our sales pitch abroad - Britain is open for business. We're making sure the UK doesn't miss out because investors don't know what's on offer or about our long-term strategy to deliver world-beating infrastructure. NPS's decision to open in London is testament to the economic opportunities in the UK."
Posted by Sarah Dudley
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