Cathay Life Insurance, Taiwan’s largest insurance company, said it continues to evaluate investment in alternatives such as infrastructure and listed real estate.
“We will continue to evaluate better performing infrastructure funds and REITs,” a spokesperson at the insurer said when asked if it is interested in acquiring alternative real estate assets.
One of the biggest investors in European property markets in the past year, Cathay Life said: “We are keen on taking part in the tremendous demand for infrastructure investment and potential for growth in the Asian region as well as appreciation in real estate value.”
Taiwan’s largest insurance company currently has about 10.4% in real estate.
As part of its goal to build up its property portfolio, Cathay Life Insurance said it is interested in markets such as Shanghai and Tokyo.
“We will continue to seek suitable investment targets in the mature markets such as Shanghai and Tokyo by adopting a more diversified strategy to increase our rate of return on our capital,” he said.
Meanwhile, regional real estate body, the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA), has been recommending Asian pension funds and insurers to take on listed real estate as they increase their exposure to property.
“The thing with the REIT is that it has bond-like qualities with a capital kicker with attractive and long-term income streams” which will help meet future liabilities in ageing societies, chief executive Peter Verwer told IP Real Estate.
Taiwan’s Labor Insurance Fund, for instance, invested in listed real estate last year, after making its first infrastructure allocation in 2012.