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Asset manager APG to increase Asia property investments for ABP pension scheme

24 April 2012

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Dutch asset manager APG, which manages about €299bn for the Netherlands' civil servant pension scheme ABP, said it will increase investments in Asian properties to tap economic growth in the region, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The exclusive pension fund manager for the third biggest pension scheme in the world invested around €900m in the private real estate sector across Asia over the past two years, totalling the investment to €4.8bn. Daan Van Aert, Head of Strategic Real Estate at APG Investment Asia, told Bloomberg. APG started investing in Asian property in 2003.

With the end of the EU-debt crisis nowhere in sight and a weak US recovery, the manager is looking for other ways to get a return on their investments. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asia will expand 7-7.5% this year, leaving the US and Europe far behind.

Currently, roughly 70% of APG's Asia allocation is invested in developed markets while the other 30% are invested in emerging markets such as China and India. APG currently has €0.7bn invested in China which accounts for 15% of its total Asia allocation, Van Aert told Bloomberg.

 "There is still room for us to grow," Van Aert said. "Globally, I'm convinced the growth engine in the world is Asia. From that point of view, I think more investments will be in Asia because of the growing economy."  The real estate specialist declined to comment however on how much APG planned to invest.

According to data held by Pension Funds Insider APG has €2.6bn invested in listed real-estate companies and real-estate investment trusts, and the firm has said it has €2.1bn in private funds, joint ventures and co-investments.

Regarding the real estate bubble that China is moving towards, Van Aert said to Bloomberg: "It could be the right timing now to look at China again when prices go down a little bit. There's still a strong demand of people needing better quality housing. Our belief in China is a long-term story."


First published 24.04.2012