Chinese insurer buys landmark Lloyds of London skyscraper

LONDON Mon Jul 8, 2013 10:12am BST

The Lloyds building is seen behind a temporary traffic signal in the city of London September 25, 2008. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

The Lloyds building is seen behind a temporary traffic signal in the city of London September 25, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - Chinese insurer Ping An has bought the landmark London home of insurance market Lloyds of London for 260 million pounds, the first in a predicted wave of property deals by Chinese companies in London.

A German fund managed by Commerz Real (part of Commerzbank) sold the building to the Chinese company in a deal that represents a rental yield of 6.1 percent, broker Savills said in a statement on Monday.

The identity of the buyer was not disclosed but several sources familiar with the deal named Ping An as the buyer.

Regulatory changes that ease restrictions on mainland Chinese companies investing in overseas real estate are set to add to the flood of money targeting the best real estate in London and other European cities like Paris and Frankfurt.

The Lloyds of London building, which is protected under British heritage laws, was designed by architect Richard Rogers. Its air ducts and lifts are on the outside of the building, in similar fashion to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which Rogers designed with Renzo Piano, the man more recently behind London's Shard tower.

(Reporting by Tom Bill; Editing by David Holmes)

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