| LONDON, June 18
LONDON, June 18 A Hong Kong investor will plough
about 480 million pounds ($751 million) into a development in
east London's Greenwich peninsula to take a majority stake in
the 150-acre scheme, the second deal this month in which an
Asian company has bought a significant chunk of the UK capital.
In a joint venture alongside British developer Quintain
Estates, Knight Dragon, a vehicle controlled by the
chairman of Hong Kong company New World Development,
will take a 60 percent stake in the scheme of homes, offices and
shops, with Quintain holding the rest.
Quintain's share price rose 25 percent in early London
trading to 41.25 pence on the back of the announcement that
analysts at Peel Hunt said would "accelerate development through
the vastly increased firepower".
Australian developer Lend Lease, which previously
held a half stake alongside Quintain, will sell its interest for
about 100 million pounds. As part of the deal Knight Dragon will
provide up to 300 million pounds of debt funding.
The deal follows an agreement earlier this month to sell
London's landmark Battersea Power Station to Malaysian investors
SP Setia and Sime Darby for 400 million
Central London has been the focus of a string of deals by
Far Eastern investors in recent years looking to benefit from
the city's perceived safe haven appeal and the iconic nature of
some of its real estate.
The Greenwich scheme, which is near the O2 concert venue,
will include more than 10,000 new homes and space for 25,000
workers along a 1.4 mile stretch of the River Thames.
"Together we are well placed to turn our vision for this
landmark project for London into reality, creating thousands of
homes and jobs in the process," Quintain chief executive Maxwell
James was appointed last month amid suggestions by some
analysts that investors were running out of patience with
previous boss and founder Adrian Wyatt over the company's
performance during the financial crisis, with its shares trading
at a 70 percent discount to net asset value at the time.