Libyan SWF makes £155m London foray

The Libyan Foreign Investment Company has become the latest sovereign wealth fund to invest in London commercial real estate directly.

The Libyan Foreign Investment Company (LFICO) has purchased Portman House, a retail and office property on London’s Oxford Street, in the latest example of sovereign wealth funds investing in real estate directy.

LFICO has paid London listed property company Land Securities £155 million ($254 million; €181 million) for the 146,550 square foot asset through its subsidiary Kinloss Property. The deal reflected a yield of just more than seven percent.

Of the few deals that have taken place in London so far this year, sovereign wealth funds have been notable buyers. The investment by LFICO comes just weeks after an investment by the Oman Investment Fund in a 75 percent stake in Land Securities' rival Hammerson’s Bishop Square development in the City of London.

The assets of the Libyan Foreign Investment Company, headquartered in Tripoli, are ultimately under the control of the Libyan Investment Authority, which was formed in 2006 to manage the country’s oil revenue surplus. At the time the organization managed an estimated $40 billion of capital.

James Andrew International advised Kinloss Property on the purchase while rival property services firm Franc Warwick advised Land Securities on the sale.