Mapletree JV garners RM450m for Malaysia fund

The Singapore-based property developer and fund manager and CIMB Group, Malaysia’s second largest financial services provider, have collected the first round of capital commitments for their second Malaysia-focused real estate fund.

Mapletree Investments, the Singapore-based property developer and fund manager owned by state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings, has raised RM450 million (€105 million; $139 million) for acquisitions in Malaysia. The firm has raised the capital via a first closing of its second fund through its 60:40 joint venture with CIMB Group, Malaysia’s second largest financial services provider.

The vehicle, called CMREF 2 Shariah, is believed to be the first Shariah-compliant private equity real estate fund raised for Malaysian property. The Shariah aspects of the fund are being advised on by CIMB Islamic Bank.

The vehicle, which reportedly was brought to the market in July 2007, originally was expected to attract near to RM1 billion. In its announcement today, however, CIMB-Mapletree, the platform managing the fund, only said it “is envisaged to increase with a second closing, which is expected by year end.”

The fund is expected to invest in core assets in Malaysia – those that are completed and already producing income. These include offices, hypermarkets and industrial properties, but also education facilities, Mapletree noted. Despite its focus on completed assets, the firm said the vehicle had the capacity to allocate up to 30 percent of its capital into developments.

CMREF 2 Shariah is a follow-on fund to CMREF, which attracted RM1.15 billion and closed in 2005. That fund was invested into 13 assets, including offices, shopping centres and land parcels.

Mapletree has been in aggressive capital-raising mode of late. The firm, which managed S$21.8 billion (€21.8 billion; $17.2 billion) of real estate as of March, also held a first closing on more than $1.1 billion of equity commitments for its second China opportunistic fund, Mapletree China Opportunity Fund II, in June.