M&G Real Estate has invested KRW158bn ($141m) in a South Korean retail asset for its core Asia strategy.

The investment manager bought the Upsquare mall, a three-year-old complex in the centre of Ulsan City.

The area is one of South Korea’s busiest shopping districts.

Chiang Ling Ng, chief executive and CIO at M&G Real Estate Asia, said the property had yield-enhancement potential that would contribute significant value to the firm’s Asia strategy.

“We are pleased to expand our core Asia Pacific property portfolio with the addition of Upsquare in Ulsan, a town centre enjoying established footfall given its premium location,” he said.

Tenants of the mall include H&M and Uniqlo.

Hyesik Ryu, managing director at M&G Real Estate Korea, said that, despite the trend of online shopping, investment sentiment in the South Korean retail sector remained strong.

“The downtown shopping mall format is growing in appeal to the experience-demanding shoppers,” Ryu said.

“Upsquare is well positioned to benefit from this trend by providing a spectacular experience in dining, entertainment and shopping.

“Ulsan’s vibrant regional position, coupled with our long-term approach to ownership, offers a competitive proposition for our tenants and enables us to deliver a strong investment performance here and in the wider region in which we invest.”