Oil fund buys into Regent Street

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Lots of Norwegians love to go shopping on Regent Street in London. Now their collectively owned pension fund known as the “oil fund” has done some shopping itself, buying a major stake in the real estate along the famed street.

The oil fund reported Thursday that it had bought the rights to a 25 percent stake in the leasing income from properties along Regent Street, from Picadilly Circus north through Oxford Circus.

The oil fund paid NOK 4.2 billion (about USD 700 million) for the stake that will yield leasing income from 113 buildings spread over 39 blocks for the next 150 years. The buildings remain owned by The Crown Estate, in turn held by Queen Elizabeth.

The Norwegian fund, flush with oil revenues, can invest up to NOK 300 billion in real estate and expects to expand its portfolio, both in London, France and Germany. The fund is also keen on property in the US, but is held back because of unresolved tax issues.

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