Hong Kong Monetary Authority buys additional stake in International Tower 1

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which manages the reserves of the Hong Kong government, is believed to have increased its interest in a Sydney office tower for more than AUD200m (€125m).

HKMA, which already has an interest in the building, known as International Tower 1, at Barangaroo on Sydney’s harbourfront, bought an additional 10% stake from Lendlease, the developer and co-investor, according to industry sources and media reports.

The 48-storey building, completed in 2015, is valued at AUD2.6bn.

In 2015, Lendlease formed a new vehicle, known as Lendlease One International Towers Sydney Trust, bringing in co-investors, including Qatar Investment Authority, with a 37.5% stake, and the Lendlease-managed Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial with 25%.

Lendlease has subsequently sold down 25% of its original stake of 37.5% to an unnamed Asian investor, later revealed to be HKMA, for AUD350m.

At its results announcement this week, the group confirmed that it had sold down 10% of its interest in the office tower and that its holding had fallen from AUD246m to AUD52m.

Lendlease has now reduced its residual stake of 12.5% in the building to 2.5%, as it recycles capital to other projects. Lendlease has a pipeline of projects around the world, valued at some AUD74.5bn.

HKMA, which invests through its Exchange Fund, is increasing its exposure to real assets, including property, through its long-term growth portfolio to increase returns.

In June last year, HKMA was again reported to have teamed up with Lendlease’s Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial to buy the group’s Timber Office building at Barangaroo South for about AUD250m.

It bought a 49% stake in an office building, known as Salesforce Tower, in New York for US$1.15bn from Ivanhoé Cambridge and Callahan Capital Partners in 2016.

A spokesperson for HKMA told IPE Real Assets: “We do not comment on the details of our investment activities.” 

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