Realty Digest: Barings, AXA IM expand footprint in APAC markets

Realty Digest: Barings, AXA IM expand footprint in APAC markets

Barings has provided A$162 million ($109 million) debt financing for a pair of purpose-built student accommodation projects in Sydney

Institutional investors are flocking to the Asia Pacific to bet on its build-to-rent housing sector. Barings has provided $212 million in debt financing for multiple multifamily projects in Australia and New Zealand while AXA IM has made its foray into Australia’s rental residential market.

Barings launches real estate debt business in APAC

US-based investment management firm Barings has launched its real estate debt business in the Asia Pacific with new loans in Australia and New Zealand amounting to A$320 million ($212 million).

The firm has agreed to provide A$162 million ($109 million) debt financing for a pair of purpose-built student accommodation projects in Sydney. The asset manager has also issued a five-year debt of A$40 million ($27 million) for a build-to-rent residential development in Brisbane.

In New Zealand, Barings has provided NZ$130 million ($81 million) loan to an ASX-listed developer Winton Land for the latter’s projects in Te Kauwhata, North Island.

“Expanding our loan book to  APAC is an exciting and important step in the ongoing growth of our global real estate debt platform, which now has a combined total of more than $30.6 billion of commitments and we are now actively lending in 14 countries,” Sam Mellor, head of Europe & Asia-Pacific real estate debt, Barings.

In August, Barings announced a takeover deal of Altis Property Partners, an Australian real estate private equity firm, which brought an addition of 44 industry veterans to the firm.

AXA IM makes debut in Australia’s built-to-rent space

AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), an alternative investment arm of the eponymous French insurer, has launched its first investment in the build-to-rent sector in Australia. 

Located in Westmead of Western Sydney, the 350-home project is launched in partnership with local community housing St George Community Housing to establish social and affordable rental homes, according to a release on Friday.

While AXA IM‘s equity commitment is not disclosed, the government-owned National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has provided a A$300 million ($201 million) umbrella commitment to support the partners in delivering multiple projects.

“This transaction and the launch of AXA IM Alts Australia’s build-to-rent strategy allows us to extend our global residential conviction and leverage our track record in the sector to meet the long-term investment requirements of our investors,” Antoine Mesnage, head of Australia at AXA Investment Managers. 

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