London office boom is back as Temasek forks out highest rent in six years

The Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek planted its flag in London in dramatic style yesterday, paying the highest rents in six years for a new European headquarters in St James's.

The investment giant, which has S$215bn (£108bn) in assets under management including a stake in Asia-facing bank Standard Chartered, set up a new European company in June and appointed UBS's former chief financial officer, John Cryan, as its president.

Property-industry sources told Estates Gazette that the firm is paying more than £125 per square foot for the top two floors of Standard Life Investment's King Street building at St James's. The huge rent deal is the biggest since the 2007 boom high of £140 per sq ft when Permal Investment Management Services signed for space at 12 St James's Square, SW1. In June, oil-engineering contractor Nobel took about 9,000 sq ft at Devonshire House in the heart of Mayfair, paying £120 per sq ft.

The area is the traditional home of London's hedge fund and investment fraternity. But a shortage of rentable space as the recession delayed development is pushing up prices as foreign cash floods in to take advantage of the capital's booming property market.

One West End agent said: "There is always a market for the best space and many who are willing to pay for it."

Temasek was set up in 1974 and takes its name from the old city built on the site of the modern Singapore.

Its portfolio covers sectors including financial services, telecommunications, media and technology, transportation and industrials, life sciences, consumer-oriented businesses and real estate. The company notoriously spent more than £1bn on shares in Barclays in the early stages of the financial crisis but sold them for a reported £800m loss in early 2009, around the time shares in the bank hit a low of 51p.

Capital attraction: Funds flock to UK

Temasek's arrival in London is the latest in a line of international sovereign wealth investors looking to take advantage of the capital's cluster of financial and professional services, strong skills base and transparent legal system.

According to TheCityUK, funds such as the Kuwait Investment Authority, Brunei Investment Agency, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority now have representative offices in London, and were joined last year by Korea's National Pension Services and the Korea Investment Corporation.

The funds form a key part of the Government's investment strategy according to the National Audit Office, with ministers looking for private companies to fund nearly two-thirds of £310bn in planned new infrastructure investment.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
Life and Style
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits