One of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, worth $1trn (£7bn), has upped its investment into London property marking it as one of the most important cities in Europe. The Norway wealth fund, which uses the country’s oil and gas production to fund investment into international stocks, bonds and property, focuses on 10 global locations where it expects to make the most positive returns, and England’s capital has just taken top spot ahead of New York.
London received 22.8% of the fund’s investments into the unlisted property last year, of which the total amount invested was $1.9bn (£1.4bn). New York received 21.5% of the fund’s property investments last year, while Paris took 19.1% of the total.
The fund, which co-owns Regent Street in London, is currently undeterred by Brexit and expects the city to continue to grow in terms of population, jobs and trade.
London will remain important
Karsten Kallevig, CEO of Norges Bank Real Estate Management, the property wing of the Norwegian fund, said: “We don’t know on what terms the UK will leave the (European) Union. In many ways, for us, that is not something we need to have a view on.
“What I need to have a view on is whether London will continue to be one of the most important cities in Europe. And I think it will.”
Last year saw the Norwegian wealth fund invest in prime central London, including major investments in Piccadilly, Oxford Street and Princes Street, despite recent headlines pinning prime central London as a depleting sector at the moment, proving that perhaps investors perceive the downward trend to be a temporary blip.
The fund also made an investment in unlisted property in Asia for the first time, in Tokyo, and could make future investments in Singapore. Regarding Tokyo, Kallevig added: “Our Tokyo investment was in line with our strategy to build a global portfolio of high-quality assets that we believe will produce a good long-term return.”