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LONDON’S CROWN JEWELS SHINE

LONDON’S CROWN JEWELS SHINE

Published: 02/05/2014

Completed in 2003, the banking giant HSBC’s gleaming headquarters at London’s Canary Wharf was sold in April 2007 for 1.09 billion (now $2.2 billion) to Spanish property firm Metrovacesa. The company was forced to sell it back to the bank 18 months later when the financial crisis struck.

HSBC flipped its headquarters again in November 2009, this time to the South Korean pension fund NPS, for a more modest 772.5 million, part of a wave of investments by overseas investors encouraged by falling prices and a cheap pound to hunt down bargains. And now the building is on the market again for 1.1 billion.

The sale of HSBC’s HQ is the latest sign of a revival in a London commercial property market enjoying its best year since the heady days of 2007.