04 August 2017
Reporter: Theo Andrew

UK currency woes split Middle Eastern investor appetite

Middle Eastern investor appetite into the UK is divided after Brexit, with currency volatility cited as the main concern, according to Philip Churchill of 90 North.

The Islamic Finance specialist said the uncertainty surrounding the pound is driving investors towards US dollar- or euro-denominated real estate.

Churchill said: “Almost none of our investors are on the fence about this issue. Half are nervous about the prospects, or, perhaps more accurately, the potential volatility, of sterling.”

Despite this, Churchill believes that London will continue to be a major draw, due to “its natural strengths as a global financial and cultural hub, combined with its first-class infrastructure”.

According to research from Savills, Middle Eastern investment now stands at £1.93 billion, up 25 percent on last year.

90 North has been particularly active so far in 2017, have sold Fielden House in the UK to Siemens PLC in April for £21.5m, before selling the Onninen Distribution Warehouse in Norway to real estate company Fabritius Gruppen in June for approximately £49 million.

In June, 90 North acquired the 368,477-square foot Mercey Health headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, for $84.5 million, in partnership with Saudi Arabia-based Sidra Capital.

The full interview with Philip Churchill will be available to read in the next issue of Real Estate Investment Times, published on 8 August.

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