Temasek in joint venture with Hotel Properties, other partners to buy London properties

SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) - Temasek Holdings is joining Hotel Properties Ltd (HL) and three other partners to buy two prime central London properties for £308 million (S$628.53 million) for a residential and office tower development as Asian investors snap up overseas real estate.

The Singapore state investment firm joins mainboard-listed HPL, owner of the Four Seasons hotels in Singapore and Bali; Amcorp Properties Bhd., a Malaysian property developer; Montrose Land & Development Ltd. and Tarras Park Properties Ltd. to create Bankside Quarter Ltd. to purchase the properties, Amcorp said in a statement to the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange on Monday.

Amcorp, Temasek and HPL will own 30 per cent each in the venture with Montrose Land and Tarras jointly controlling the rest, according to the statement.

The group bought the properties from Carlyle Group, HPL said in a separate statement March 28.

Temasek is following in the footsteps of Singapore sovereign fund GIC, one of the world's top 10 investors in real estate. GIC has purchased a stake in the Time Warner Center in New York, a 50 per cent share of the Broadgate complex in London's financial district and full ownership of the office component of Tokyo's Pacific Century Place Marunouchi.

The property is located in Southbank, adjacent to the Thames river and equidistant from London Bridge and Waterloo station. The 5.3 acre plot had permissions granted last year to develop five residential buildings comprising 489 units, four office towers, and retail and leisure facilities, Amcorp said in the statement. The sales value of the project after redevelopment is estimated to exceed £1 billion, Amcorp said.

London has emerged as a favorite place for global investors, especially from Asia, as home prices increase and demand for office space remains strong. Home prices in the U.K. capital rose 13 per cent in the 12 months through February, according to Hometrack. Central London office rents will climb the most since 2000 this year as tenants compete for a dwindling amount of space, according to BNP Paribas SA's real estate unit. Office rents will jump 17 per cent from last year, BNP Paribas said.

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