Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is selling an office property in Australia to capitalise on strong demand for Australian real estate.
The property, in the Australian capital of Canberra, is leased to a federal government department on a long-term lease and is expected to sell for around AUD300m (€211m).
EPF owns 80% of the office tower at 50 Marcus Clarke Street, which it bought jointly in 2012 with Singapore-based fund manager, CIMB TrustCapital, for around AUD226m.
EPF is a key backer of two Australian office funds run by CIMB TrustCapital. In December, it bought all interests in two funds owned by CIMB Bank for AUD37.1m.
A senior industry source confirmed to IPE Real Estate that a Korean group is undertaking due diligence on the Canberra building, but declined to identify the prospective buyer.
Other sources, however, suggested the interested buyer is Mirae Asset Management, which has been active in Australia since acquiring the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney for AUD340m, in a tightly contested race in 2013.
EPF could not be contacted to confirm the sale.
In an interview with IPE Real Estate last year, the pension fund said it routinely took profits when opportunities arose.
At the time, Kamarulzaman Hassan, EPF’s head of global real estate, said: “At EPF we are constantly looking at market conditions, and if we can profit from a sale, we will do so to deploy the funds elsewhere.”
He told IPE Real Estate that EPF had sold two industrial assets in Melbourne, which were part of a Goodman portfolio of industrial assets sold to Blackstone for AUD640m last year.