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08Oct92 UK: SHIMIZU TO CLOSE TWO BRITISH PROPERTY FIRMS FOLLOWING £200M LOSS.

Japanese construction and property giant Shimizu is to close two of its British operations after announcing losses of more than £200 million in the UK.Shimizu (UK), which built the prestige One America Square in the City, has been stung badly by the collapse in UK property prices.Now it plans to liquidate its subsidiaries SC Properties and SC Investments, which will mean the sale of four buildings.The company is refusing to comment on what presence it will keep in Britain and whether it will continue as a contractor. But it confirmed the loss of 45,000 million yen (£230 million) on its British operation and that it was closing the two subsidiaries.The UK arm of the £10,000 million turnover Japanese company set up in 1979 is currently involved with financing of the proposed Londondrome leisure complex in Docklands.It has also been involved in the Toyota plant at Derby and a development at Stockley Park near Heathrow.Shimizu's decision is one of the first clear signs of the pressure on Japanese investors in the UK property market.David Chippendale, analyst with Applied Property Research, said: 'The Japanese did invest in the UK market late, at the peak in terms of investment values of buildings, and just before they tumbled when it was clear the market was oversupplied.'The Japanese poured money into property worldwide in the late 1980s.Their investment in overseas property peaked at US$14,000 million in 1989, one year after London property starts peaked.