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HSBC Reclaim Tower With 250 Million Profit

Leading bank, HSBC, will be having an exceedingly merry Christmas this year thanks to the Spanish.

HSBC are one of the few who have turned a profit on a property deal in the past 10 months, thanks to their ability to buy back their own headquarters in London at 8 Canada Square at a massive 250 million profit from the much troubled Spanish property company Metrovacesa.

The company brought the building back in April 2007 for a whopping 1.09 billion and set a record for a single property transaction in London. The terms of sale included a sale and leaseback deal and had a 810 million bridging loan of the place which they failed to pay by the deadline of November 27th 2008.

Since the purchase property prices have fallen by a third, and the huge fall in the building's value stopped lenders from providing Metrovacesa any more credit to keep hold of the property.

It didn't help that Metrovacesa ran up debt of E7.1 billion (6.1 billion) by buying property across Europe which has resulted in the company doing a debt-for-equity swap with creditor banks, which take a 54.75 per cent stake in the group.

Obviously having watched the t.v programme Beat The Bailiff, the Spanish company made a deal to sell the building back before HSBC started repossessing their sofas, TV's and substantial compact disc collection for a miserly 838 million.

Many big Spanish property developers have struggled with rising debt after the collapse of the construction sector in Spain that came at the same time as the global credit crunch and has left them dangerously exposed and in need of trimming their liabilities.

The more suspicious may wonder if HSBC knew what was coming and made the deal knowing full well it would be able to buy the building make at a much reduced rate, and just in time for Christmas. The shareholders will be having champagne and caviar after all to make up for those Credit Crunch losses.

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HSBC World Headquarters

HSBC World Headquarters
HSBC Tower Canary Wharf
HSBC Tower Canary Wharf