EPF to Dispose 2 London Properties

Diane Foo Eu Lynn26 Jan 2017


Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) plans to dispose two of its properties in London, namely Tower Bridge House at St Katharine Docks and St James Square in West End.

According to a report from The Star, the two buildings were put up for sale around two weeks ago, but two people with knowledge of the matter revealed varying prices.

One source said the collective price for both assets is at about £380 million (RM2.12 billion), while another quoted a higher figure of £405 million (RM2.3 billion).

The EPF had originally bought the Tower Bridge House, previously known as the K2 building, for £163 million in 2011. Both sources said the fund intends to sell the property for around £200 million (RM1.12 billion).

As for St James Square, it was purchased for £147.5 million during the same year. One source puts its asking price at £180 million (RM1 billion), while the other revealed a larger amount of £205 million (RM1.14 billion)

If the fund successfully disposes both buildings at the top price, it will rake in a gross profit of around £94 million (RM 524.82 million) after holding the properties for five to six years.

Notably, the federal government has urged Malaysian funds in 2015 to repatriate their overseas investments to help spur the domestic economy.

Subsequently, the EPF has put up other UK properties for sale, but has not yet disposed of them. One of them is the commercial building Whitefriars at 65 Fleet Street, which was listed on the market for £170 million (RM949.14 million), up from its original purchase price of £148 million.

EPF’s Chief Executive Office Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan also told the media in 2015 that it is mulling the sale of Reading International Business Park. It purchased the property from Arlington Business Parks Partnership Fund for £140 million in 2011.

Furthermore, some Malaysian funds were able to sell their assets in the UK just before the Brexit referendum held on 23 June 2016.

In April 2015, the EPF and its partner Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) sold the nine-storey 1 Sheldon Place for £210 million to UK-listed real estate investment trust British Land, after originally buying the office building for £156 million in 2010.

KWAP also earned a premium of £55 million after it disposed an 18-storey office building at 88 Wood Street in May 2016 for £270 million, while LTH bagged a 22 percent premium when it liquidated an office block at 151 Buckingham Place for £250 million in April 2015.


Image sourced from Getty Images


Diane Foo Eu Lynn, Senior Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email diane@propertyguru.com.my


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