Chinese investment firm Hengli buys the London headquarters of Lloyds

By Johan De Mulder

Lloyds Banking Group has sold its London headquarters to Hengli Investments Holding, a Chinese property investor.

The historic building on the United Kingdom capital's Gresham Street, in the middle of the city's financial district, has been sold for an undisclosed price and immediately leased back to the bank for 20 years.

In 2016, Lloyds made a pledge to sell 30% of its non-branch property portfolio as part of a cost-cutting initiative, while it also recently revealed plans to close 49 branches in the UK in 2018.

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"The transaction enables the group to capitalise on the market conditions and realise value in its property portfolio for shareholders," a Lloyds spokesperson told Reuters

Foreign investment into the UK's real estate market has taken a sharp upturn following the dramatic decrease in value of sterling in the wake of the country's vote to leave the European Union.

Hengli Investments Holding, which is based in Hong Kong, completed the tender in less than a month after carrying out research and a number of site inspections.

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