ING Real Estate acquires Japanese shopping center

ING Real Estate has acquired a shopping center in Morioka, a city in Japan’s North Honshu island.

ING Real Estate has acquired Morioka Minami shopping center in Japan’s Iwate Perfecture, which is located in the northeast of Honshu island. The investment is the third for ING Asia Retail Fund, which has held an initial close at close to $500 million (€372 million).

The single-storey multi-tenanted retail center was completed in December 2006 and is 96 percent occupied, according to a statement. The investment amount was not disclosed.

Robert Lie, chief executive officer of ING Real Estate Investment Management Japan, told PERE this is the third investment to be made from ING Asia Retail fund, an investment vehicle that has a target above $1 billion. The fund has held an initial close on close to half its target size, Lie said without divulging specific numbers.

The sector-specific fund has made two investments so far: the prominent KLCC in the capital city of Malaysia, and a shopping complex in Seoul. Lie said that the fund is going to acquire something in China shortly.

The head of ING real estate investment in Asia is upbeat on opportunities in Japan, where ING has assembled a local team with acquisition experience and local networks to seek assets outside Tokyo.

Lie is of the view that assets are more attractively priced outside the capital city where competition is not as fierce.

ING Real Estate manages $3 billion across five funds and four separate single-investor accounts dedicated to real estate investments in Asia. Within the region, ING focuses on Greater China, Korea, and Southeast Asia – primarily Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. More recently, the firm has offices in Japan, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore and Taiwan.