US-headquartered AEW has bought a Melbourne office tower for more than A$200m (€127m) from Australian financial services group Challenger.

Industry sources said the building, located in Queen Street in the central business district, would form part of the AEW Value Investors Asia II fund.

The fund bought its first asset in Australia – a B-Grade office building in central Sydney – for A$169m in 2017.

AEW was not reachable for comment, but another party close to the transaction confirmed the deal.

Jason Lee, CIO for Asia, recently told IPE Real Assets that AEW’s second value-add fund would allocate more heavily to the office sector in key Asian cities.

“We continue to see office as attractive. In many cities the vacancy is low, and demand continues to be strong,” he said during a visit to Melbourne last month.

Another reason for office, he said, was the liquidity available in capital-city office markets.

“We are active in Australia as well as in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing,” he said.

“We will be going to Japan soon. We have recently opened an office in Japan – it is a very important market for us going forward.”

Last month, AEW sold a suburban shopping centre in Singapore to SC Capital Partners.