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79 Anson Rd stake sold for 3rd time in 2 years

SEB Asian Property Fund pays $215m for 55% stake

TRADING office buildings continues to be flavour of the month in the real estate market. A 55 per cent stake in the freehold 79 Anson Road has changed hands for the third time in about two years. The latest deal involves a fund managed by Ferrell Asset Management selling the space to an SEB Asset Management fund for $215 million.

Ferrell’s fund, FAM Maximilian Real Estate Investment Fund, last year bought the space – spread over 12 floors of the 23-storey building, for $149 million from two parties, at least one of which is linked to the Lippo group.

Pramerica Asia had sold the property to Lippo entities for over $90 million in early 2006.

The latest acquisition, by SEB Asian Property Fund SICAV-FIS, for $215 million works out to about $1,937 per square foot based on a lettable area of 110,976 sq ft.

The fund, which was launched in late-August last year, invests in Asia only. The plan is to develop a broad-based portfolio, primarily in China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, over the coming months.

This is not the German group’s first acquisition in the Singapore office sector. It made at least two purchases last year.

In September, SEB bought 12 floors at Springleaf Tower nearby for $2,088 psf of net lettable area. And a few months before that, in April, the group bought SIA Building for about $526 million or $1,783 psf from TSO Investment, a fully owned subsidiary of a property fund managed by CLSA Capital Partners.

TSO had purchased the office block from Singapore Airlines in June 2006 for $343.88 million, or about $1,165 psf.

A Ferrell-SEB joint release yesterday said the space transacted at 79 Anson Road is currently about 98 per cent occupied. Major tenants include Kellogg Brown & Root, Mitsubishi Chemicals, interTouch and Infor Global Solutions.

Ferrell Group managing director David Lee said the group will keep searching for development and investment opportunities in the commercial property sector.

SEB Immobilien-Investment managing director Choy-Soon Chua said the group expects to capitalise on the ‘extremely positive growth prospects’ in the Singapore office sector due to rising demand and limited supply.

The remaining 45 per cent of 79 Anson Road is owned by the Central Provident Fund Board.


Source: Business Times 25 Jan 08


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