ASIA NEWS: Hot property in New Zealand

The William Pears Group, the London-based private real estate investment company, has put up a portfolio of retail assets in New Zealand for sale.

The portfolio of 19 supermarkets spread across the country, believed to be among the largest-sized asset sales in the country in recent years, is estimated to be valued around NZ$300 million (€176 million; 196.26 million).

The formal bidding process began in the first week of August. According to people closely involved with the sales process, the assets are expected to attract domestic and global institutional investors’ interest. KIC, the South Korean sovereign wealth fund, PSP Investments, the Canadian pension manager with prior real estate investing experience in the country, and Australian superannuation funds are being touted as potential bidders.
William Pears had acquired the portfolio in partnership with a private investor from the UK. The majority of the assets have 20-year leases that commenced in March this year, according to a statement from JLL, which is jointly handling the sales process with Colliers International.

Stuart Crow, head of JLL’s capital markets business in Asia Pacific, said the country has started attracting record levels of offshore interest, given the transparency of the property market and other favorable long-term indicators. As much as NZ$2.9 billion is estimated to have been invested in the country’s real estate by international investors last year, according to Crow.