US pension fund buys Hong Kong serviced apartments

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 04 August 2019

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Hong Kong: Crane Capital has bought a serviced apartment block at 111 High Street in Hong Kong for HK$420 million ($54 million).

Hong Kong-based Crane Capital bought the property, which was formerly operated by Ovolo, from tycoon Payson Cha’s Hanison Construction Holdings.

Crane Capital, which is headed by former Evergreen Real Estate Partners managing director Wai Tang, is backed by the Washington State Investment Board, and targets real estate opportunities in Asia.

The acquisition comes three months after Crane was spun off from real estate investment platform Evergreen Real Estate Partners, a $5.7 billion real estate investment fund set up by the US pension fund and London-based private equity firm M3 Capital Partners.

Crane Capital is purchasing the residential block at a 66 per cent mark-up over the HK$253 million which Hanison paid four years ago for what was then known as Ovolo 111 High Street.

Hanison said in its statement to the stock exchange two weeks ago that current market conditions present a good opportunity to unlock the value of the investment, adding that the capital would be reallocated into future investment and growth opportunities.

The Washington State Investment Board, which has limited exposure in Asia, is partnering with Crane Capital in a push to increase its asset portfolio in the region, which currently stands at just over four per cent of the pension fund’s overall $17.2 billion real estate portfolio.

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