Citigroup Sells Japanese HQ for $445M

In a deal worth $445 million, as reported by the Nikkei Business Daily, Citigroup has sold its headquarters building in Tokyo. As part of the deal, Citigroup is leasing back the property.The move comes in the wake of historic losses for financial services giant Citigroup due to its exposure to subprime mortgages. In January, Citigroup announced that it wrote off more than $18 billion in bad investments in the last quarter of 2007; currently, the company in the midst of a plan to raise an infusion of billions from overseas investors and the sale of assets. The 22-story building is located on the waterfront in the city’s Shinagawa Ward, home to a number of other important corporate headquarters, such as Japan Airlines, JTB Corp., Siemens Japan and the Japanese HQ of Adobe Systems. Morgan Stanley has been an eager buyer of Japanese real estate for about a decade now, most recently buying 13 hotels from All Nippon Airways Co. According to a recent report by brokerage Miki Shoji, the class A office building vacancy rate in central Tokyo currently stands at an anemic 2.55 percent, down slightly from December 2007’s average, 2.65 percent. The brokerage also reported that during January 2008 alone, rents for class A space in Central Tokyo, already considered one of the most expensive cities in the world, rose by a full 2 percent.