ING goes shopping in Korea

The Dutch firm is to buy two Korean supermarkets for $124m.

ING Real Estate is set to acquire two supermarkets in South Korea for the ING Real Estate Asia Retail Fund.

The first is located in a town called Jochiwon, about 100 kilometers from Seoul. That development was completed in April 2008, and ING has already taken possession of it. The second is located in Cheon-An city, about 85 kilometers south of Seoul. That acquisition will close upon completion of the property, which is expected to take place around September 2008.
The total investment value for both hypermarkets is about $124 million. The Fund will hold 80% in both properties while a Korean life insurance company will own 20 percent.

With this acquisition, the $8000 million (544 million) fund has now invested 95 percent of its initial target commitment of $600 million, and has a portfolio of more than $1.2 billion, according to the firm. In February the fund purchased three hypermarket stores in South Korea from Lotte Shopping Company for an undisclosed price. Those properties are located in Jeju, Incheon and Daejeon.

The fund’s previous investments include a 35 percent in Suria KLCC Retail Centre in Malaysia, The Mall in South Korea, Morioka Minami and North Port Mall in Japan. The fund has had a lot of personnel activity in Asia recently. At the end of April, it was revealed that ING’s Asia chief Robert Lie had left the firm to join Redevco Asia. A week later, ING revealed it has appointed Leong Chi Meng as managing director and country manager for Singapore and South East Asia. In April ING Real Estate Select, the global multi fund management business of ING, hired Dick Popken as its new head of fund management in Asia.  

ING Real Estate is part of the Dutch financial institution ING Group.