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Credit Suisse gives loan to US$209m London homeowner

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The owner of a penthouse at One Hyde Park in London's Knightsbridge district used a mortgage from Credit Suisse Group AG to fund the purchase.

[LONDON] The owner of a penthouse at One Hyde Park in London's Knightsbridge district used a mortgage from Credit Suisse Group AG to fund the purchase.

The owner, listed as two companies based in Guernsey, paid £160 million (S$209 million) for the apartment in the luxury complex near Harrods department store and adjoining the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The amount of the loan is not disclosed in the filing to the Land Registry, which names the bank. The purchase price includes two wine storage areas, car parking lots and storage areas, the document shows.

Though listed as a sale, the transaction involved real estate investor Nick Candy refinancing a property he already owns, The Times reported on Wednesday, citing a spokesman for Candy Capital. The mortgage is £80 million and comes as the businessman restructures ownership of the penthouse to make it easier to rent out, the newspaper said.

Guernsey, Channel Islands-based companies are not required to publicly disclose their ultimate owners. They do need to disclose them to law enforcement, regulatory and tax authorities.

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Sales of the most expensive homes in London are increasing again as a weaker pound and falling values offset the tax rises that had hurt demand. Apartment values, however, are falling faster than house prices in the best central districts, according to broker Knight Frank.

Luxury property website PrimeResi reported the apartment sale last month. Credit Suisse declined to comment on the mortgage.

One Hyde Park was developed by Christian Candy's CPC Group and a company controlled by former Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jaber Al Thani. Christian Candy is Nick's brother.

Some apartments at the complex have been sold for less than their owners paid for them after prices for the city's most expensive homes started falling in September 2014. Land Registry data show that one home that sold in 2014 for £17.35 million was bought for £17 million earlier this year, while an apartment that went for £7.7 million in 2012 was snapped up for £7 million last year.

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