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LaSalle proceeds with 'caution' in Asia

The Chicago-based fund manager is targeting its $3bn Asia fund mainly in Japan and China. LaSalle, which has invested 20% of the fund, says it is in no hurry to make more investments in 2009.

LaSalle Investment Management insists there are “great” opportunities in Asia even though the current market means it is time to “proceed with caution”.

LaSalle, which has invested 20 percent of its $3.2 billion LaSalle Asia Opportunity Fund III mainly in Japan and China, said there would be good long-term opportunities in the region “but we are not in a great hurry to make investments at this point in time”.

David Edwards, LaSalle’s Asia-Pacific research director, said in a media briefing: “This is a time to proceed with caution. Although growth in Asia-Pacific is likely to exceed other major regions, the slower prospects for the US and Europe will continue to degrade prospects for 2009 to 2010.”

The opportunistic fund, which has up to $12 billion in dry powder including leverage, is targeting all sectors in Asia, with a focus on Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

The fund’s predecessor, LaSalle Asia Opportunity Fund II, is currently managing its assets. It raised $1billion in equity when it was launched in 2005.