Chinese investment manager COS Capital has opened a London office to invest up to €1bn in European real estate.
Beijing-headquartered COS Capital was established two years ago by state-owned China Orient Asset Management and is backed by Sunshine Insurance, the 8th largest insurer in China.
Roberto Varandas, formerly global head of business development at Aberdeen Asset Management, is leading the newly created European arm.
COS Capital already has US$4.6bn (€4.21bn) of real estate assets under management, but is looking to diverify globally.
It will look to invest primarily in value-add real estate across the office, residential, industrial and retail sectors.
The company already has a joint venture with Chinese developer Vanke to invest in urban renewal projects and is investing in mezzanine and structured finance with Aviva insurance company’s Chinese joint venture.
It also has a special situations fund with private equity company KKR and an opportunistic fund with US developer Portman Holdings.
The initial focus of COS Capital Europe will be on London and the UK market, broadening out to include other European countries over time.
Varandas said: “In the near term, Brexit uncertainty presents a challenge but also an opportunity.
“We believe in the long-term potential for the region as a whole, and the attractive, risk-adjusted opportunities it presents.”
COS capital was established in 2014 and now has 100 employees in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, San Francisco and London.
Lijian Chen, CEO of COS Capital, said: “To further grow our worldwide business, we plan to build up the scope and scale of investments in Europe that match what we have already achieved in the US, by helping investors diversify their real estate exposure globally.”