AIA Group Looking To Buy Shanghai Office Tower For Nearly S$2bil
CHINA – Sources with knowledge of the matter revealed that AIA Group, a major global insurance provider, has entered into negotiations to acquire an upcoming prime office building in Shanghai, reported Bloomberg on Friday morning (5 August, SGT).
The Hong Kong-based insurer is looking to purchase SIIC Center, a multi-function office development under construction close to the North Bund area, which has been earmarked by the local authorities as a new central business district (CBD).
One of the sources revealed that government-owned Shanghai Industrial Development Co owns the office building and it expects the commercial property would fetch up to 9 billion yuan (S$1.8 billion).
Previously, Shanghai Industrial Development Co bought SIIC Center’s site for 3.3 billion yuan in 2015. It later raised more funds by introducing Japanese real estate developer Mori Building Co, which is known as the main building contractor for the famed Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Tokyo.
The acquisition of the prime office building reflects the insurance giant’s commitment to expand in China in spite of economic challenges arising from harsh COVID-19 rules.
Notably, AIA became the first fully-owned foreign life insurance provider in China after transforming its Shanghai branch into a subsidiary in 2020.
The insurance giant announced in 2021 that its China subsidiary intends to be established as an asset-management firm to help find better investment opportunities and build a pension-fund operation. In particular, it’s looking to increase stock, private-equity, and property holdings in China.