Ayala backs new Asia real estate fund

ARCH Capital, a new fund manager in Hong Kong, has linked up with Ayala Land, a Filipino property developer, to raise a new private equity real estate fund with a $200m target.

ARCH Capital, a Hong Kong-based setup that specializes in private equity real estate fund management, is raising $200 million (€156 million) to capture opportunities in emerging Asian markets outside Japan. The new manager plans to begin formal marketing efforts in the fourth quarter and expects to achieve a first close in 2007, the firm said in a statement.

Ayala Corporation, a diversified business group based in the Philippines, and Ayala Land, a real estate developer, are the sponsors for the debut fund. They will commit up to a combined total of $75 million in the fund, which will invest in markets such as China, India and Thailand.

ARCH Capital is a joint venture between Ayala Corporation, Ayala Land and Great Arch, an entity set up by Richard Yue-Chuk. Yue will also be heading the fund management company.

Yue has over 17 years experience in Asian real estate during which he managed an investment portfolio of $6 billion. Prior to forming Arch, he was director of investment at AIG Global Real Estate for seven years.

Ayala Land and an affiliate, Ayala International, will help raise third-party capital and pursue investments. Ayala International has been investing in Asian real estate since 1995, in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia. To date, it has invested over $200 million in residential development, office and retail redevelopment and public company restructurings.