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CIMB-Mapletree plans second SE Asia fund

Following the success of its first private equity real estate fund, Malaysian bank CIMB Group and Singapore’s Mapletree Investments are looking to raise a second fund to invest in the region.

CIMB-Mapletree Real Estate Fund 2, a joint venture between CIMB Real Estate of Malaysia and Mapletree Capital Management of Singapore, is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2008 with a target of RM1 billion ($290 million; €211 million).

The fund will seek to attract institutional investors from the Middle East, Europe and Malaysia, according to chief executive officer Raja Noorma Othman. So far, the fund already has commitments of RM200 million.

“We will go on a roadshow in three months’ time to the Middle East, Europe and Malaysia. The fund will be used to invest in properties regionally,” Othman told reporters after a signing ceremony between the joint venture and the Malaysian Resources Corporation. The first CIMB-Mapletree fund is building a RM400-million office tower in Kuala Lumpur.

CIMB-Mapletree Real Estate Fund 1, the first joint venture between the two firms, was launched in 2005 with an initial RM400-million commitment and has since made four major commercial acquisitions. Currently, the total value of the first fund’s investments is about RM 700 million, according to Mapletree.

The debut fund focused on a number of property sectors, including retail, office, residential, industrial and hospitality, as well as high-yield debt.

Mapletree Capital Management is a unit of Mapletree Investments, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government’s investment arm. CIMB Real Estate is the property arm of Malaysian merchant bank CIMB Group.