CapitaLand to expand Malaysia footprint

The Singapore developer and real estate investment firm looks to increase its exposure to Asia’s emerging markets just as it sells the Capital Tower Beijing complex for $352m. It first acquired the property three years ago, while it was under construction.

The Singapore development and investment firm CapitaLand is set to expand its footprint in Malaysia in a move that will reinforce its presence as one of the largest foreign investors in the country, according to media reports.

Liew Mun Leong, CapitaLand’s group president and chief executive officer, told local reporters in Malaysia economic growth in the country was presenting “good potential in both the residential and commercial property sectors.”

The firm last year closed the largest Malaysia-focused private equity real estate fund, the Malaysia Commercial Development Fund (MCDF), on $270 million. The fund was a joint venture with the Malaysian financial services company Maybank Group. CapitaLand also has interests in publicly listed companies in Malaysia, including the REIT, Quill Capita Trust.

The news comes as CapitaLand sold its interest in the two-building, 35-story Capital Tower Beijing office complex, in Beijing, located near the Forbidden City and China National Theatre.

CapitaLand said in a statement it had intended to hold onto the property, acquired in 2005 while it was still under construction, as a long-term core investment through its CapitaLand China Income Fund, however an “unsolicited offer” from a Fortune 500 company prompted it to sell.

CapitaLand chief executive officer Lim Ming Yan said the sale would allow the firm to deploy capital for other developments in China. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.