GIC said to be selling two Paris buildings

Buyer of properties valued at about $756m believed to be insurance unit of SocGen

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC is in talks to sell two buildings in the Paris central business district valued at about €500 million (S$756 million) to Societe Generale's insurance unit, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

The adjacent properties, in Rue d'Astorg and Rue de la Ville- l'Eveque, include the French headquarters of law firm Clifford Chance, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal has not yet been completed and could still fall apart.

Spokesmen at GIC, Societe Generale and Clifford Chance declined to comment.

Demand for offices in the downtown business district of the French capital is rising as pension funds and insurers seek investments that offer higher returns than bonds.

Growing tenant demand for well-kept space is helping to drive rents for some properties higher as the French economy improves. Investors spent €18.8 billion on commercial buildings last year, which is 7 per cent more than a year earlier and the second-most after a record set in 2007, according to data compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Demand for offices in the downtown business district of the French capital is rising as pension funds and insurers seek investments that offer higher returns than bonds.

GIC is also seeking buyers for the Westin Paris hotel building, which is valued at about €600 million, said two people with knowledge of the plans who asked not to be identified because the sale is private.

The planned sale of the Westin was first reported by CoStar News.

The real estate unit of French insurer AXA is among the buyers of Paris offices this year, having agreed to acquire France's tallest skyscraper - Tour First - from affiliates of Beacon Capital Partners in January.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2016, with the headline 'GIC said to be selling two Paris buildings'. Print Edition | Subscribe