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SLI’s Select Property Fund increases direct Asia-Pacific exposure

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Standard Life Investments has made its second direct investment in the Asia Pacific property market with the acquisition of an AUD26m property in Sydney from GE Real Estate Investments Aus

Standard Life Investments has made its second direct investment in the Asia Pacific property market with the acquisition of an AUD26m property in Sydney from GE Real Estate Investments Australia on behalf of the Select Property Fund.

The building at 16 Spring Street is located in Sydney’s central business district and comprises a net lettable area of 3,135 square metres with 10 upper floors of office accommodation and ground and mezzanine retail space. Tenants include Malaysian Airlines, the Consulate of Malaysia and the Malaysian Trade Commission.

Last May SLI made its first direct investment in the Asia Pacific property market on behalf of the Select Property Fund with the acquisition of a property in Perth’s central business district for AUD47m from Colonial First State Global Asset Management.

‘This acquisition cements the Select Property Fund’s strategy as truly global,’ says the fund’s manager, Andrew Jackson. ‘In addition to Reit and listed property company holdings in North and South America, as well as throughout Europe and across the Asia-Pacific region, the fund now has more than 20 per cent of its portfolio invested in direct property investments in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

‘The purchase of 16 Spring Street complements our existing office building in Perth and ties in both with our view of the robustness of the Australian property market and with our aim to bring the fund’s direct property exposure to 25 per cent of its total portfolio.

‘The Sydney office market is extremely buoyant at present, benefiting from strong occupier demand which, added to a muted development supply pipeline, augers well for attractive returns going forward.’

The GBP 1.43bn Select Property Fund offers institutional and retail investors in the UK access to global property markets, accessing commercial property markets via direct investment, unquoted specialist property products and stock exchange-listed property vehicles. Despite recent volatility the retail accumulation unit price has risen 28.6 per cent since the fund’s launch in October 2005.

Standard Life Investments had GBP15.7bn in property assets at the end of June last year as well as managing nearly GBP1.7bn in listed real estate securities. The firm’s property team of more than 100 people manages 18 property funds spanning pooled pension products, segregated mandates, mutual funds, sector specialist funds and global property vehicles from offices in Edinburgh, London, Paris, Boston, Toronto and Hong Kong. The group had a total of GBP142.2bn in assets under management at the end of September.

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