Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK), Germany’s largest pension fund, has been revealed as a co-investor in Yi Fang Tower, a mixed-use complex in Shanghai that was sold for RMB4.6bn (€587m) in March this year.

As IPE Real Assets reported, Yi Fang Tower changed hands through a transaction involving Alpha Asia Macro Trends Fund III, Keppel Land China and unnamed co-investors.

BVK made the co-investment through Universal-Investment, marking the first direct investment in China for Universal-Investment and its 1,000th property acquisition.

Universal-Investment said more than one third of all real estate purchases made for investors on its fund service platform were located in Asia.

“China in particular is gaining in importance because broadly diversified investors are no longer able to capture the expected returns in saturated markets and are evidently prepared to take higher risks,” said Marcos Joos, head of real estate investment management.

A survey of Universal-Investment’s investors shows that pricing in Europe, “is increasingly no longer regarded as acceptable”, especially in core locations, he said.

“This is another reason why, with 9% of all respondents, far more real estate investors are considering Asia than in the past.”

To cater for the growing appetite for Asian real estate, Universal-Investment plans to open an office in the region.