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South Korean association bets on European real estate

CBRE Global Investors has announced plans to build a diversified real estate portfolio in Europe following investment from South Korea’s Public Officials Benefit Association (POBA).

The investment from POBA marks the third tranche of capital since 2016. With leverage, the commitment from POBA is now said to exceed €400m.

According to a CBRE release, the original mandate of investing in office space has been expanded to include residential, logistics and alternative sectors such as healthcare (life sciences) and data centres, as well as listed real estate securities.

Expanded focus

Je Wook Joung, portfolio manager at the company, said: “This latest equity commitment from POBA is not only a strong vote of confidence for the enduring appeal of European real estate, but also demonstrates the strength of our investor relationship through our appointment as trusted partner. Our mandate from POBA is the first discretionary separate account for direct real estate investments in Europe from a South Korean institutional investor, which gives us the unique ability to deploy capital quickly on their behalf, with certainty of execution.”

He added: “Expanding our investment focus to include other sectors, we are actively seeking investments to build a well-diversified portfolio producing secure cashflow for our client and its members.  We very much look forward to continuing our work with POBA to grow the portfolio. “

The news of POBA’s investment into CBRE comes as the company reported numerous acquisitions in recent days. This week, it announced that it had bought two residential projects in Stockholm, Sweden, along with the purchase of an apartment building in Los Angeles through the investment firm Gelt through a fund sponsored by CBRE.

Property investment, particularly within Europe, has been a method of various investment funds in recent years, even though such actions often have deleterious effects on the cities and locals involved, an issue that Expert Investor commented on recently.

Despite the recent machinations of funds across Europe to invest in property, Asian investors increasing their assets in this space is not a new story, given that this publication first wrote on this trend eight years ago.

Pete Carvill

Pete Carvill is a reporter, writer, and editor based in Berlin who has been writing for the B2B and mainstream media since 2007. He is a contributing writer for Expert Investor Europe and, in addition,...