Ascendas launches $1.4bn Asia core fund – Exclusive

The Singapore-based real estate firm is aiming to raise as much as S$2 billion (€1.32 billion; $1.44 billion) for its maiden Asia Pacific private real estate office fund.  

Ascendas-Singbridge, the Singapore-based real estate developer and fund manager, is plotting the launch of its maiden pan-Asia commercial private equity real estate vehicle.

PERE has learnt from sources familiar with the development that the firm is imminently going to launch an open-ended core office fund and is currently in discussions with prospective investors.

The initial fundraising target for the Ascendas Asia-Pacific Core Office Fund is also the largest ever for the firm in the unlisted funds space. Over a three-year period, the firm is aiming to raise around S$2 billion (€1.32 billion; $1.44 billion) for the vehicle. A first close target of $500 million has been set and is expected to be achieved by June this year.

Sources told PERE the decision to launch a sector-specific fund that would be focused on select Asian cities was in response to investors’ keenness to deploy capital in longer-term income-producing assets in the central business districts of major Asian markets.

Ascendas-Singbridge declined to comment on the fund launch when approached by PERE. However, according to sources, the firm has already acquired one office property that is expected to seed the fund. The entire fund corpus will be deployed by the firm into income-producing assets in Australia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

The firm has been actively investing across Asia Pacific in markets such as China, India and Australia via its region-focused private real estate funds as well as the listed Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust which purchased a 26-property Australian logistics portfolio from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC Private, reportedly for around A$1.01 billion last year. In April last year, the firm also raised and deployed S$333 million for a China industrial fund.

Early last year, the Singaporean state investment fund Temasek and JTC Corp, a government agency for infrastructure development, agreed to merge four of their operating subsidiaries to create a combined entity worth around S$5 billion, leading to the creation of Ascendas-Singbridge.