ASIA NEWS: Opportunity knocks

Invesco Real Estate has started raising capital for its long-awaited opportunistic vehicle in Asia.

In late August, the investment management firm revealed through a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it was in the market with Invesco Asia Real Estate Fund III, with a fundraising target of $500 million. At the time of the filing, the firm had raised $75 million via the blind-pool, closed-ended commingled opportunity vehicle.

However, PERE has learned from industry sources that Invesco has since been able to bring the total to $100 million in hard commitments from investors. Further details of the investors which have committed capital are not yet known. No official closing has been announced so far, but it is believed that a first closing will occur before the end of the year.

Invesco Asia Real Estate Fund III is the firm’s maiden high risk and return investment vehicle, following two legacy funds that it inherited through its acquisition of the embattled insurer American International Group (AIG)’s Asia real estate platform in 2011. Murmurs of the fund were heard back in 2013, when the firm launched its pan-Asia core open-ended real estate fund. At the time, it was believed that the firm was plotting to launch both funds in the market. However, eventually a decision was made to put the opportunity fund on hold, and instead focus the team’s efforts on the core fund. The pan-Asia core fund has gone on to raise over $500 million, in line with its target of raising $1 billion over the next five years.

Additionally, Invesco has been managing a legacy opportunity fund – the $740 million AIG Asia Real Estate Partners II – acquired during the takeover of AIG’s Asia real estate business in 2011. The firm is now nearing a complete exit for the fund, having already sold off most of its assets, according to an industry source.

For Invesco Asia Real Estate Fund III, the firm is believed to be targeting investments in Japan, Australia, Korea and China, among other Asian countries. The fund has a return target of between 15 percent and 18 percent.

The news of the fund launch comes soon after Invesco appointed Calvin Chou as head of its opportunistic funds business in Asia. Chou was previously the head of Greater China and Southeast Asia at Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, and joined Invesco in June.

Until his hire, Graeme Torre, managing director and head of portfolio management for Asia-Pacific, and Cheng-Soon Lau, managing director and director of Asia direct real estate, had been leading Invesco’s overall Asia operations. Chou’s Hong Kong-based position was newly created to have a new executive assume the leadership of the opportunistic business while Torre focuses solely on the core strategy.