Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is to invest AUD154m (€109m) in a mixed-use development in the centre of Melbourne in Australia.
The pension fund is investing alongside Malaysian industrial group OSK Holdings.
In a filing to the Malaysian stock exchange, OSK said EPF had taken a 49% stake in Yarra Park City, an Australian subsidiary of OSK.
Yarra Park City is a vehicle set up to undertake the project, which is located on the Southbank precinct in central Melbourne and has a gross development value of AUD2.8bn.
OSK has retained a 51% interest in the company through one of its subsidiaries, PJ Development.
The project is EPF’s second investment in a development project outside Malaysia, and OSK’s first property project in Australia.
The move mirrors EPF’s participation in the major urban regeneration of the former Battersea Power Station site in London, marking its entry into overseas development.
Known as Melbourne Square, the latest project will be developed in five stages over eight to 10 years.
EPF’s chief executive, Sharil Ridza Ridzuan, said the project met EPF’s long-term objectives and would be a good addition to its overseas portfolio.
“The increasing demand for residential property in Melbourne will enable EPF to generate returns for its members,” he said.
OSK bought what it considers to be “one of the last pieces of sizeable prime land available for an iconic development in Melbourne city” for MYR439m (€93.1m) in an off-market deal in 2014.
The project will have four residential towers with more than 1,000 apartments, along with an office tower, a hotel/serviced tower and multiple street-level retail stores.
EPF first entered the Australian market in 2012, investing in offices and logistics. In the past 12 months or so, the Malaysian institution has been taking profits, selling some industrial and office assets.
Most recently it sold an office building, 50 Marcus Clarke Street in Canberra, to Korea’s Mirae Asset Management for more than AUD300m.