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Mon 13 Jun 2016 01:40 PM

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Qatar's SWF completes $2.45bn deal for Singapore tower

Qatar Investment Authority buys Asia Square Tower 1 which includes tenants such as Citi, Julius Baer and Google

Qatar's SWF completes $2.45bn deal for Singapore tower

Asia Square Tower 1 in Singapore has been sold by a BlackRock-advised fund to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) for about S$3.4 billion ($2.45 billion).

The tower has 1.287 million sq ft of space, including about retail, and its office tenants include Citi, Julius Baer, Marsh and Google.

QIA's purchase is understood be the biggest property acquisition in Singapore by the sovereign wealth fund, which also owns the landmark Raffles Hotel in Singapore through its unit Katara Hospitality.

CBRE and JLL were joint sole advisors for this transaction for a BlackRock-advised fund.

Rob Blain, executive chairman, CBRE Asia Pacific, said: “The sale of Asia Square Tower 1 to the Qatar Investment Authority underlines the strong demand for prime core assets around the world, and the ongoing appeal of real estate as a prized asset class."

Jeremy Lake, executive director, Investment Properties, CBRE Singapore, added: “We courted some of the world’s largest funds and leading investors for this exercise and without exception, all of them were in agreement that Asia Square is a premium office asset; the building quality and superior location in the expanding Marina Bay are indisputable.

"Marina Bay is Singapore’s equivalent to London’s Canary Wharf or Shanghai’s Liujiazui. The buyer and seller can walk away from this deal smiling as both have achieved excellent outcomes”.

The sale comes as vacancy rates in Singapore's office property sector are nearing their highest level in almost a decade, with the supply of commercial space set to increase amid slowing economic growth.

Developers are set to add 4 million square feet of office space in Singapore this year and another 1.4 million next year, said Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP International Property Consultants.

BlackRock also owns a second tower in the Asia Square development.

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