GLOBAL - ANREV, the association for the Asian real estate funds industry, has estimated the aggregated gross asset value (GAV) of Asian non-listed funds has reached $130bn (€101bn).

Its Asian Vehicles Database now captures close to half (46%) of this universe, according to latest figures, covering some $60bn GAV.

However, ANREV's database covers only 32% of individual funds in the market by number - 84 of the estimated universe of 261 funds.

The association's analysis of the sector shows it has increased substantially over the past decade, particularly since 2004, with both the number and value of funds under management growing five-fold by June 2010.

The analysis also highlighted the diversity of products available in Asia.

Historically, the Asian non-listed property funds market was dominated by core-style funds, but the landscape has undergone significant change since 2004 with the rapid growth of opportunity-style funds.

ANREV estimated the share of total GAV invested in opportunity funds had doubled since 2004, up from 22% to 45%.

Around two-thirds of the Asian non-listed property funds universe comprises single-country funds.

In the main, they target mature markets such as Australia (43 funds) and Japan (40 funds).

However, there is also a growing number of funds focused on the developing markets such as China (33 funds) and India (32 funds).

The findings coincide with the recent announcement that China has given the green light for its insurance companies to invest in non-listed real estate in a bid to improve diversification, reduce portfolio risk and ease investment pressure.

The Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission said it would allow domestic insurers to invest in real estate assets of private companies, but forbid investment in direct assets or real estate development projects.

Chinese insurers are restricted to allocating up to 5% of their total assets to interests in non-listed companies.