KWAP in Malaysia’s largest office deal this year

The Malaysian pension fund has acquired the Menara AIA Cap Square, its second property buy in Kuala Lumpur.

Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), Malaysia’s second largest pension fund, has acquired the Menara AIA Cap Square in Kuala Lumpur from Union Investment Real Estate GmbH (UIRE), the German real estate investment manager.

The deal is believed to be the largest office building sale in Malaysia this year, according to a statement released by property services firm JLL who advised UIRE on the sales process. The acquisition price was not disclosed, but local news reports have reported it to be RM511 million ($114 million; €109 million).

The 41-storey Grade A office building comprises 601,796 square feet of net lettable space. Hamburg-based UIRE had acquired the asset in 2008 as a development project and was subsequently held in its open-ended retail real estate fund Unilmmo: Europa.

“With this purchase KWAP is demonstrating its confidence in the Kuala Lumpur office market and we expect there will be increased interest in other Grade A office properties as a result, from both domestic and international investors,” commented YY Lau, managing director, JLL Malaysia.

For KWAP, this is its second property acquisition in Kuala Lumpur. In April last year, the RM126.87 billion pension fund acquired the 39-storey office block Integra Tower from BlackRock for RM1.1 billion.

Following this sale, Union Investment now has eight properties in the Asia Pacific region across Japan, Singapore and Australia, with a total value of almost €1 billion.