ASIA NEWS:UBS’s back yard stick

The folks in UBS’s real estate business in Asia are pleased on two fronts. Not only have they landed a second separate account with one of the world’s coveted sovereign fund investors, that account is for investments in Singapore where it bases its regional headquarters.

Last month, PERE revealed the Swiss bank won a S$250 million ($176 million; €164 million) separate account from a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Singaporean developer Boustead Projects for commercial development projects in the city-state. So far, S$119 million has been deployed via the venture, including into an investment in the regional headquarters for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

“Given our headquarters is here, it is very significant for us to have impressive assets under management in Singapore,” explained Graham Mackie, head of Asia-Pacific, for UBS Asset Management Real Estate & Private Markets, the division at the bank responsible for its private real estate activities. “Architecturally, it is a very good building and I know GSK are pleased to be there.”

The 154,000-square-foot office in Singapore’s One North precinct, and three others investments, are the first outlays for the venture which ultimately plans to amass a portfolio valued at more than S$800 million from which to glean value-add to opportunistic-style returns.

The mandate win follows a similarly-structured account awarded to UBS by the Middle Eastern state fund in 2014 for investments in Australian residential units. With similar capital to the ADIC/Boustead venture, UBS
was mandated then to manage a venture between ADIC and Australia’s Grocon for the development of a 1,200-home multifamily project on the country’s Gold Coast.