REAL ESTATE - Prudential is to open an Asia-Pacific regional office in Singapore.

The new office – a joint venture between Prudential Property Investment Managers, the UK real estate business, and fund management firm Prudential Corporation Asia – reflected “real interest in the region among investors overseas and closer to home”, the firm said.

Spokesman Martin Moore said Prudential had invested in real estate outside the UK for the past four years, though “not on a strategic, long-term basis”. Prudential has £400m invested in the region, mainly in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and, to a lesser extent, Australia.

New Singapore CEO Jonathan Allen, who up to now was head of business development for the Asia-Pacific region, will work to shift capital already invested in London to the new venture.

“We’re planning to lever our platform to do more in the region,” said Moore. “The real estate presence will boost existing local expertise in bonds and equities.”

The firm chose Singapore over Hong Kong because it can share services with the existing equities team and “the economies of locating in Singapore seemed better”, said Moore.

Moore expects the team to grow to 10—15 people within 12 months. “We want to make sure it has governance, capital raising and operational strength,” he said.