Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is targeting Japan and Singapore for its first real estate investments in Asia.

The investment manager of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global has confirmed it is opening an office in Tokyo to invest in Japanese real estate.

Karsten Kallevig, CIO for real estate, said: “We’ve picked out Tokyo and Singapore as the two markets where we want to start our efforts in Asia.”

It was previously reported that NBIM had hired former Grove International partner Kei Ando to run a new Japan office.

NBIM did not confirm Ando’s appointment but said it would hire “three local staff, all attached to the real estate department and advising on property investments”.

The Norwegian oil fund has allocated 5% of its NOK6.9trn (€753bn) assets to real estate, and since 2011 has invested in core real estate in Europe and the US.

NBIM said the strategy for Asia would be “largely the same”.

Kallevig said: “Tokyo is a market that fits well with the rest of our portfolio. We’ll be focusing on office buildings in selected central areas of the city.”

NBIM already has offices in Singpore and Shanghai to support its equity and fixed income investments in Asia.

Kallevig said: “Having a separate real estate office in Tokyo will give us that important local presence and help us build the best possible property portfolio in this market.”