Barings has entered the real estate debt market in Asia-Pacific, signing off on its first three loans totalling more than A$320.4m (€206m) to Australian and New Zealand borrowers.

The larger of the two Australian facilities is a combined loan of A$162.5m to Scape Australia to fund the construction of two student accommodation projects.

Separately, in Brisbane, Barings has provided A$40.3m to a five-year investment phase facility to Queensland developer, Arklife, which has recently completed a build-to-rent project in Brisbane.

Winton Land, a listed developer with large-scale projects across New Zealand and Australia, has signed on for a NZ$130m (€78m) loan to fund the remaining site works and subdivision of 1,375 residential lots and four commercial units in Te Kauwhata, about 80km south of Auckland, on New Zealand’s North Island.

Sam Mellor, Barings’ head of Europe and Asia-Pacific real estate debt, said residential real estate in Australia and New Zealand offered “an attractive supply-and-demand dynamic”.

“We have significant appetite to further grow our loan book in APAC across residential, student housing, logistics and grade A office with strong ESG credentials, and, selectively in hospitality.

“Expanding our loan book to APAC is an exciting and important step in the ongoing growth of our global real estate debt platform, which now has a combined total of more than US$30.6bn in commitments.”

Baring is now actively lending in 14 countries.

In Asia-Pacific, Mellor said Barings offered facilities from senior core loans to construction lending, aiming to fill gaps in financing from traditional lenders.

As part of Barings’ growth plan in the region, Baring has appointed a senior analyst, Abhishek Srivastava, to join the existing team in Sydney.

The firm acquired the Sydney-based Altis Property Partners in August, adding 44 professionals to its real estate team in this region.

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