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CapitaLand makes further REIT push in Asian markets

Singapore group takes stakes in two Japanese trusts.

Euromoney Liquid real estate March 2007 

Singapore property group CapitaLand continued its aggressive regional expansion of last year into 2007 when it announced in February two investments in the Japanese Reit market.

It has agreed to invest ¥3.23 billion ($27 million) for a 13% stake in BLife Investment Corporation, a Japanese Reit listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and specializing in residential assets. CapitaLand will also acquire a 33.4% interest in Morimoto Asset Management, the manager of BLife Reit, through CapitaLand Japan, which will provide fund management expertise and an asset pipeline. BLife will receive a right of first refusal over any residential property to be sold by CapitaLand Japan.

CapitaLand already has a substantial business in Japan, with the ARC-CapitaLand Japan residences Joint Venture and the CapitaRetail Japan Fund targeting total assets under management of $1.6 billion between them.

The firm’s foray into the Japanese Reit market marks its third Reit investment outside Singapore, where it already sponsors four trusts, including the recent mainland China Reit, CapitaRetail China Trust. In addition, it is a strategic investor in Hong Kong-listed Link Reit and has sponsored Malaysian-listed Quill Capita Trust.

There appears to be no end in sight to the group’s regional push.