Sino-Ocean Capital (SOC) has launched a fund to invest US$1.4bn (€1.21bn) in Chinese office markets.

The Beijing-based asset manager said the capital would be provided by parent company Sino-Ocean Group (SOG) and “global sovereign wealth funds or reputable institutional investors”.

Sino-Ocean Prime Office Partners I LP will be seeded by two grade-A office assets in the central business district of Beijing: Ocean Office Park, which is already in operation, and Project Z6, which is being developed by SOG on an 11,000sqm plot of land.

SOG, which was listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2007, has been developing commercial real estate in China since the late 1990s, including China Life Financial Center and Ocean International Center.

SOC said the new fund would focus on grade-A buildings in China’s core office markets.

China Life Insurance and Dajia Life Insurance are substantial shareholders of SOG, itself the major shareholder of SOC, an alternative asset manager with US$20bn under management.

Chris Wang, CEO of SOC and vice president of SOG, said the fund launch formed part of a “strategy to expand our fund management business and grow our assets under management in a capital-efficient way, reinforcing our position as China’s leading real estate fund manager and establishing long-term capital to further expand our property portfolio”.

He said: “We have been continuously consolidating our ability to raise, manage and exit funds, while forming long-term strategic cooperation with numerous renowned domestic and foreign institutional investors.”

Eric Zhou, executive deputy general manager of SOC, said: “We are currently at the bottom of the office real estate cycle and the market is already showing signs of recovery.

“In the medium-to-long run, China’s urbanisation, industry upgrade and consumer upgrade will continue to drive demand for office space.

“Our collaboration with global institutional investors allows us to realise long-term capital growth and preservation potentials in this attractive asset class.”

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