Shaw family to buy London office building from KWAP

LONDON: A company controlled by the Shaw Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the late Hong Kong movie mogul Run Run Shaw’s empire, has agreed to acquire an office building in London’s main financial district from Malaysia’s second-largest pension fund, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The foundation, which is being advised by Knight Frank, will pay Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP) about £270mil (RM1.56bil) for 88 Wood Street, according to two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal hasn’t been completed.

Spokesmen for KWAP and Knight Frank declined to comment on the purchase of the property. The Shaw family and foundation didn’t reply to requests for comment.

Chinese investors, including those from Hong Kong, have been buying office properties in the City of London as a slowing economy and slumping stock market prompt them to diversify their holdings.

Office yields for the best buildings in Hong Kong Central are 2% compared with 4% in London’s largest financial district, according to broker Savills Plc.

Buyers from China and Hong Kong acquired £3bil of London commercial property in 2015 compared with £2.7bil a year earlier, according to data compiled by broker CBRE Group Inc.

Mona Fong, widow of Shaw Brothers and TVB co-founder Run Run, chairs the foundation which distributes income from the family’s investments to philanthropic causes, according to the foundation’s website. The family’s business empire includes a Hong Kong movie studio and real estate developments in Singapore.

Run Run Shaw, who died at 106 in 2014, had credits on 360 films during his career including as co-executive producer on Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, according to Variety.

KWAP hired Cushman & Wakefield to advise on the sale of 88 Wood Street in response to a government call to repatriate funds to prop up the country’s ailing stock and currency markets. Cushman & Wakefield declined to comment. — Bloomberg

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