Fund signs Regent Street agreement
Norges Bank, which manages the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, today signed an agreement for the fund’s first real estate investment, the purchase of a 150-year lease on a 25 per cent stake in The Crown Estate’s Regent Street properties in London.
The completion of the £452 million purchase, which was first announced in November, is expected on April 1. The fund was given a mandate in March 2010 to gradually invest as much as 5 per cent of its assets in real estate. The fund’s investments comprised about 60 per cent equities and 40 per cent fixed-income securities at the end of 2010.
“We’re very happy to have signed an agreement and look forward to a long and beneficial partnership with The Crown Estate,” says Karsten Kallevig, Global Head of Real Estate Asset Strategies at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
The partnership will give the fund 25 per cent of the properties’ net income, which primarily comes from office and retail space rent. The Crown Estate will retain 75 per cent of the income and will continue to be responsible for the management of the portfolio.
Regent Street is one of London’s busiest shopping streets with retailers including Apple, Burberry, Banana Republic and Hamleys. The properties in the Regent Street portfolio, which consists of 113 buildings spread over 39 blocks, are owned by The Crown Estate on behalf of the United Kingdom.
The Crown Estate has since 2002 been implementing a regeneration programme in Regent Street to transform it into an international destination for business and retail. Further development of the area is set to continue.
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