ING to create Japanese real estate fund

The Dutch group is planning a $910m property fund targeting office buildings in Japan.

ING Group plans to create a 100 billion yen ($910 million) in assets, according to ING Real Estate chairman and chief executive officer George Jautze.

ING will seek capital from overseas and domestic institutional investors for the fund, and they plan to launch it next year. The fund will invest in office buildings in Japan, and ING will initially purchase assets with its own funds.

Last year the Dutch group set up ING Real Estate Investment Management (Japan) to look at opportunities in the country, particularly for its Asia retail fund. This new entity will handle property selection and fund management for the new vehicle. 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.

In November the Japanese unit purchased a 55,321 square meter shopping center in Yokohama, Japan for an undisclosed sum, and the property was added to ING Real Estate's Asia Retail Fund which has held an initial close at close to $500 million (€372 million). In June that fund acquired Morioka Minami shopping center in Japan’s Iwate Perfecture, which is located in the northeast of Honshu island.

ING has been active in announcing plans for the Dutch firm in Asia. Last week ING Real Estate’s Asia head Robert Lie announced that the firm is planning a second dedicated property fund for China, to launch next year at a target of $700 million (€477 million), That money will add to the $1.6 billion ING already has committed to China from two pan-Asian funds closed earlier this year and its Real Estate China Opportunity Fund I launched late last year on $350 million, with a target return of 20 percent.