APG Asset Management, which had over €39 billion ($43.1 billion) in real estate assets under management at the beginning of this year, may be aiming more of its war chest at mainland China, as the Amsterdam-based pension fund manager opens offices in Shanghai and Beijing.
The company, which has already backed some of China’s biggest real estate investments, including logistics platform ESR and Shanghai-based developer Chongbang Group, was reported earlier this month in a report by Asian Investor, to have already established beachheads in China’s two largest cities, however, APG representatives remain non-committal regarding the company’s current status of the company’s representation in China.
“As a pension investor, we are constantly looking for attractive investment opportunities for our pension fund clients and their beneficiaries. We currently already invest in Chinese shares,” an APG spokesperson said in response to an inquiry from Mingtiandi. The Netherlands-based executive added that, “We can confirm that we are developing additional strategies in China, which we will disclose in more details in the coming weeks.”
Already established in Hong Kong for many years, APG’s mainland presence has been linked to increasing interest in fixed income investments, although the company has yet to comment officially on the scope of activity for any potential offices.
APG Already Active in Logistics, Multifamily and Real Estate Debt
Early this year APG joined its compatriots at Bouwinvest in betting on China’s multifamily residential sector by becoming one of the early backers of Greystar Real Estate Partners maiden mainland focused fund. The pair of Netherlands investment managers helped the rental housing fund, which is managed by a joint venture between Greystar and MIRA Real Estate, a division of Australia’s Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, reach a $450 million first close in February of this year.
APG was also an early investor in logistics real estate fund manager Redwood Group, which in 2016 merged with Warburg Pincus-backed e-Shang to form ESR. The Dutch firm is likely to have realised a significant return on its warehouse investment through ESR’s HK$12.6 billion ($1.6 billion) IPO last month.
In 2015 APG, together with Quebec’s Ivanhoe Cambridge, pursued opportunities in China’s commercial real estate market when the pair of fund managers led a $920 million investment round for developer Henry Cheng’s Chongbang Group. The commercial real estate specialist has since put that cash to work expanding its chain of LifeHub office and retail projects into beyond Shanghai into Hangzhou and other parts of the Yangtze River Delta.
Under the leadership of APAC chief Graeme Torre in Hong Kong, APG’s real estate unit in July this year ventured into Australia’s commercial property debt market through a partnership with Melbourne-based MaxCap Group. The Dutch firm made an initial commitment of €185 million to the strategy, with an option to increase its commitment to €370 million.