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Abu Dhabi is said to form venture for apartment towers in London

[LONDON] State-owned Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions has formed a venture with UK developer Mount Anvil Group to build apartment towers next to the ExCel London conference venue, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.

The companies could develop about 1,000 homes on land next to the exhibition centre, the people said, asking not to be identified because the agreement isn't yet public. The venture hasn't yet applied for approval to build on the land, which is currently used for parked vehicles, the people said.

A spokeswoman for ExCel London referred requests for comment to Mount Anvil. A spokeswoman for Mount Anvil didn't respond to calls and emails seeking comments.

Developers have been focusing on London's outer districts, where cheaper prices mean potential purchasers can benefit from government assistance to buy homes. Construction began on about 7,000 homes in the UK capital during the second quarter, a 42 per cent increase from a year earlier, according to a report by Molior London seen by Bloomberg News.

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Adnec bought ExCel, London's largest events space, in 2008 for £318 million (S$571.842 million). The venue, which hosted multiple events at the 2012 Olympic Games, is about 3.2 kilometres east of the Canary Wharf financial district.