Qatar to sell Canary Wharf property as oil price slides

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Plunging oil prices have prompted the Qatari owner of 1 Cabot Square — the Canary Wharf home of Credit Suisse — to put it on the market for £450 million and the turmoil could prompt even more deals, experts said.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has lined up its first major London property sale, having bought it in 2012 for £330 million.

Credit Suisse was one of the two first investment banks who agreed to move to Canary Wharf from the City in the early 1990s.

QIA had budgeted for oil at $65 a barrel but, with today’s price at $34.35, pressure to improve returns from its investment arm is mounting, Estates Gazette reported.

Instead Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is understood to be concentrating on larger redevelopment opportunities that could offer higher returns.

These include Canary Wharf Group, which QIA took control of last year with partner Brookfield.

Other sellers from the Middle East include the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Fergus Keane, head of West End investment at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Oil may prompt some selling, but I actually believe Middle Eastern volatility in terms of the current conflicts will result in even more money being ploughed into London bricks and mortar because of its safe haven status.” 

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January 9, 2016 |
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