GLOBAL - South Korea's National Pension Service (NPS) has bought an office building in Sydney for A$685m (€440m) as it continues to snap up prime assets across the world's top cities.

The fourth-largest pension fund in the world acquired the 44-story Aurora Place office tower (pictured) overlooking Sydney Harbour from Commonwealth Property Investment Trust, a vehicle managed by Colonial First State Global Asset Management.

The KRW274trn (€169bn) sovereign pension fund cited the fast pace of Australia's economic recovery, relative to other developed nations, as a reason to gain exposure to the country's commercial real estate market.

But the pension fund also made it clear that it is targeting commercial properties in major global cities, having already purchased a number of assets in Seoul, London and Tokyo.

In November 2009, it agreed to buy HSBC's London headquarters for £772.5m (€860m) and earlier in the year acquired two other London office assets for a combined £260m via a new vehicle managed by Rockspring Property Investment Managers. (See earlier IPE story: Korea's pension reserve buys  HSBC Tower)

In June 2009, NPS also entered into a joint venture with The Carlyle Group to purchase the KDX Toyosu Grandsquare office building in Tokyo for €260m.