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LONDON-UAE-based investment house Istithmar PJSC has bought an office block at One Trafalgar Square for euro 227 million ($274 million). “Given that we are currently engaged in positioning our portfolio to focus on developing markets and international gateway cities such as London, this acquisition represents a key step for us,” chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem says in a statement. Barclays Capital arranged the financing of the deal.

The building dates back to the late 1870s but was substantially redeveloped in 1991 by Land Securities to a design by Sidell Gibson Architects. The building occupies a high-profile island site on the south eastern corner of Trafalgar Square and has views of Admiralty Arch and the Mall leading down to Buckingham Palace.

In recent years, Trafalgar Square has seen considerable investment from Westminster Council and the Greater London Authority. Improvements are intended to create a people-friendly world square in one of London’s most popular tourist landmarks. Istithmar is a major investment house specializing in private equity, real estate and alternative investments. It was launched by government offices of the Corporate Office and the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corp. with an investment program of Dh7.3 billion (US$2 billion).

United Arab Emirates investors have snapped up foreign assets in the last year, such as when Dubai International Capital bought British leisure group Tussauds in March.

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