London: The head of Qatar’s $450bn sovereign wealth fund — a prolific buyer of European property — said he’s concerned about the commercial real estate market but will continue to support London’s Canary Wharf Group project as a long-term shareholder.

The sector contains “a little bit of risk” because of the “leverage and cost of funding,” Mansoor Al Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Investment Authority said in a Bloomberg Television interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monda

Still, the fund, which last year committed to invest £400m into the developer of London’s dockland financial district alongside Brookfield, will continue to support the project. “It is not time to exit it by all means,” Al Mahmoud said.

Canary Wharf has struggled since the pandemic led to a shift to flexible working, bringing in fewer workers to populate the desks of the large office blocks that dominate its skyline. HSBC Holdings Plc said it would quit its skyscraper in the district for a new location in central London, following a similar move by lawfirm Clifford Chance.

For decades dominated by financial services firms, the area is intent on drawing in more residential and life-sciences tenants.

Brookfield and Qatar Invest £400m in Canary Wharf Group.

Founded in 2005 to handle Qatar’s revenue from liquefied natural gas, of which it is one of the biggest exporters, the QIA is known for its penchant for trophy assets.

During the 2008 financial crisis, it backed lenders such as Barclays Plc and Credit Suisse. The fund now ranks as the world’s eighth-largest wealth fund, according to data and consultancy firm Global SWF.

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