Singapore's GIC Top Commercial Property Deal Maker

Singapore’s GIC Top Commercial Property Deal Maker In Australia

AUSTRALIA –Real Capital Analytics (RCA) named Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC as the second top overseas deal maker in Australia’s commercial property market last year in terms of both buying and selling activity, reported The Australian Financial Review (AFR) on Wednesday morning (2 March, SGT).

In particular, GIC acquired A$2.9 billion worth of Australian commercial real estate (CRE) and it divested a further A$2.5 billion of such assets in 2021. Moreover, GIC will finally open an office in Australia this year.

Meanwhile, Blackstone was ranked as the top foreign deal maker in Australia’s commercial property market in terms of both buying and selling activity. Overall, the global investment giant unloaded A$5.8 billion of commercial assets here last year and purchased roughly A$3.6 billion of such properties during the same period, noted RCA.

As for Singapore-based asset and fund manager ESR, it was named as the third biggest overseas buyer of Australian commercial properties, forking out approximately A$2.7 billion.

Other international investors that made it to RCA’s lists include Manulife, CPP Investment Board, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

RCA highlighted that foreign commercial property investors prioritised industrial and office assets in Melbourne and Sydney.

“Cross-border investors were heavily focussed on Sydney, with 46 percent of all overseas capital deployed to Australia’s largest market (and) the lion’s share went into the Sydney office sector,” stated Benjamin Martin-Henry, Australian Head of real estate research at RCA.

“The Melbourne industrial market was the second most popular sector, with overseas investors spending $3.9 billion.”

Meanwhile, Blackstone is looking for a buyer for its half-stake in Melbourne’s Southern Cross Towers, which it had purchased from Brookfield for A$675 million in late 2015.

In particular, the investment giant is divesting its 50 percent share in the East Tower but plans to retain its half-stake in the West Tower. At present, the twin towers are valued at over A$2 billion.

In another major Melbourne offering, MECGP Asia has listed a nine-storey Grade A office building at 850 Collins Street at an indicative price of A$200 million. The commercial property is 95 percent occupied with a weighted average lease expiry (WALE) of 4.6 years.

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