Pension fund to buy HSBC tower outright


Within the next few days Canary Wharf’s HSBC tower will change hands for the third time in only two years. Spanish property company Metrovacesa purchased the tower for a staggering £1.1 billion when the market was at its peak two years ago.

However, financial issues led Metrovacesa to sell the building back to HSBC not long afterwards for £250 million less than it had paid. This time, the buyer is South Korea’s National Pension Service – the world’s fifth largest pension fund, with assets of over $200 billion.

The tower was completed in 2001 at a cost of £500 million and contains 1.1 million square feet of prime London office space. The NPS will pay a little under £773 million. HSBC currently pays around £46 million per year in rent, and intends to continue its occupancy of the building for the remaining 17 years of its lease.