UNITED STATES - Pramerica Real Estate Investors has extended its real estate investment area into South America and made its first investment in Argentina, but the firm is looking for its first deal in Chile.

Pramerica's first transaction in Argentina was the purchase of the Colonos Plaza office buildings located east of Puerto Madero, currently the most desirable office sub-market of Buenos Aires, giving the firm two assets with space of over 23,000m2, according to Roberto Ordorica, vice president at Pramerica and head of its Latin American operations.

"It's our opinion that there is strong rental demand for office space in and around the capital city of Argentina where there are enough large companies able to support a project. The same case can't be made for smaller cities in Argentina. And this is why our strategy is to invest in the capital," said Ordorica.

Pramerica is looking to invest in new and existing projects in Argentina, but offices and hotels are the main property types it is looking hard at.

In contrast, says Ordorica, retail is a different story.

"This kind of real estate is held by local ownership groups. This makes finding good investment opportunities very limited," he suggests.

Pramerica is also seeking transactions in Chile for the first time, although it has yet to close a deal, and its strategy in this country will be similar to Argentina, said Ordoric, as the firm is again looking at office buildings but is this time considering mixed-use assets with a combination of office and residential space.

"Like Argentina, we will only be interested in deals in Chile near the capital city of Santiago. There is where there are enough businesses to make a project work.