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HSBC to consider selling London HQ – again

The bank may sell offices in New York, Paris and London, and possibly lease them back, after receiving interest from investors. This would be the second time in two years the bank has sold its landmark London HQ. In December, it bought back the property from Metrovacesa at a 25% discount after selling it to the Spanish group in 2007 for a record £1.1bn.

HSBC is considering selling three of its largest offices, including its landmark Canary Wharf headquarters in London, according to media reports.

The bank confirmed to Reuters it was looking to sell and possibly lease back its offices in London, Paris and New York, with a spokesman saying: “There are people interested in buying at an appropriate price.”

According to the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper, HSBC has hired Richard Ellis to head up the process.

In December, HSBC bought back the Canary Wharf headquarters in London for a 25 percent discount after selling it to Spanish property company, Metrovacesa, in 2007. Metrovacesa took the property off HSBC’s hands in a £1.09 billion sale-leaseback deal, the highest price paid for a property in the UK at the time.

However Metrovacesa was unable to refinance the loan on the building, allowing HSBC to buy back the building for £838 million (roughly $1.24 billion; €930 million) late last year.