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11/25/2015 | 05:14pm US/Eastern

According to CBRE, the value of Middle East investments in real estate outside the region surged by 64% to US$11.5 billion in the first half of 2015. It is noteworthy to mention that two deals by sovereign funds accounted for nearly half this yearÂ’s total. The CBRE said sovereign wealth funds accounted for US$8.3 billion of the spending in the first six months of this year, almost quadruple their outlay of US$2.27 billion in the prior-year period. The splurge came despite a 44 % drop in U.S. light crude oil prices in the 12 months to June 30. Property purchases by nonsovereign wealth funds fell to US$3.2 billion in the first half of 2015, from US$4.7 billion a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on CBRE data. These deals helped make London, with US$2.75 billion, and Hong Kong, with US$2.4 billion, the top destinations for Middle Eastern property investors. New York was third with US$1.1 billion and MilanÂ’s US$990 million placed it fourth. This yearÂ’s spending includes QatarÂ’s US$ 2.5 billion investment in Melbourne Hotels and Abu Dhabi Investment AuthorityÂ’s (ADIA) US$ 2.4 billion purchase of a 50% stake in three Hong Kong hotels. In terms of sectors, hotel investments rose 437% to US$6.75 billion, or 59% of total Middle East spending. According to CBRE, this category is growing in importance as sovereign wealth funds and high-net-worth individuals focus on real assets that generate long-term revenue. In parallel, office acquisitions fell by nearly half to US$1.99 billion and retail purchases dropped 40% to US$708 million. Other buys, which include residential property, jumped 144% to US$1.66 billion.

(c) 2015 EMBIN (Emerging Markets Business Information News) Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers

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