Malaysian EPF said to have acquired London office block for $379m: Report

London, England, United Kingdom. Photo: Robert Bye/unsplash

Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is said to have acquired an office block in the city of London for £330 million ($379 million).

According to Mingtiandi, real estate investment manager CBRE Global Investors (CBRE GI) has, on behalf of the EPF, acquired an office building Premier Place at 7 Devonshire Square, from Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, together with the United Kingdom asset management firm Greycoat.

The Malaysian pension fund has not replied to a DealstreetAsia query on the same.

Mingtiandi cited CBRE GI, explaining the investment as driven in part by the lengthy weighted average unexpired lease terms (WAULTS) for tenants currently occupying Premier Place, as well as the nine-storey building’s central location.

“This is an opportunity to acquire a prime office in an excellent location with WAULTS of 15 years and let to two strong covenants. It’s a strong addition to our client’s portfolio” commented CBRE Global Investors senior director Chris Gilchrist-Fisher in the report.

In 2018, EPF with Malaysian state-owned fund management firm Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) jointly acquired the commercial assets at London’s Battersea Power Station for £1.58 billion.

The assets were bought from Battersea Phase 2 Holding Company Ltd, owned by Malaysian property developers, SP Setia, Sime Darby Property, as well as EPF. EPF holds a 20 per cent stake in the holding firm.

It was reportedly said that EPF is keen on increasing its overseas portfolio to diversify its investment risk.

According to EPF announcement in February, its overseas holdings across all asset classes stood at 30.3 per cent and contributed 41 per cent to its gross investment income. External fund managers managed 14.4 per cent of the total funds and contributed 18.3 per cent to income.

“The EPF has always held that overseas holdings are an essential and important part of our overall portfolio, and have already announced on several occasions our intentions to continue these diversification efforts to reduce concentration risks,” the fund Chief executive officer Alizakri Alias said earlier.

He also expects that 2020 to be just even more challenging than 2019, with the full impact of the Covid-19 virus likely to drag down already soft global growth.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.