Singapore players dominated Asia Pacific’s management of private real estate funds in 2019, as CapitaLand, ARA Asset Management and GLP controlled more than a quarter of the region’s assets under management, according to a recent survey by property investment industry group group ANREV.
Total assets under management (AUM) held by managers of private real estate investment vehicles in the region grew 4 percent to $608 billion during the year, from just over $586 billion in 2018, according to a report released this week by the Asian Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles, as the group is formally named.
That 2019 total represented a 17 percent slice of the $3.6 trillion in assets managed through private real estate funds globally – slightly less than the region’s 18.4 percent proportion of the world total a year earlier.
“After six consecutive years of steady growth, the growth in real estate AUM globally and in Asia Pacific accelerated significantly in 2019 on the back of continued and increasing investor interest in the asset class,” said ANREV’s director of research and professional standards, Amelie Delaunay.
CapitaLand Beats ARA to Top Spot
Retaining its crown as the largest fund manager in Asia Pacific, CapitaLand grew its assets under management to $62.5 billion during 2019, according to ANREV.
That haul is a 12 percent increase on its 2018 booty of $55.9 billion, as the group bumped up its assets under management through a $11 billion merger with cross-town rivals Ascendas-Singbridge.
Following closely behind its Temasek Holdings-backed competitor, John Lim’s ARA muscled its way into second place after ramping up its assets under management to $60 billion, according to ANREV’s figures.
Backed by US private equity giant Warburg Pincus, the Singapore investment firm has continued its asset-building momentum during 2020, executing a wave of deals despite the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to global property markets.
Warburg Pincus said just last week that it is raising its stake in the firm from 30.72 percent to 48.7 percent, with the US private equity giant announcing that news just two months after ARA acquired a majority stake in Asia Pacific logistics real estate developer and fund manager Logos Group for an undisclosed sum.
ARA Pushes GLP Down to 3rd
Ranking third among APAC real estate fund managers in 2019 was GLP, according to ANREV’s rankings, after the logistics specialist clocked a total AUM of $38.3 billion for the year.
Despite being knocked into third place in ANREV’s rankings by ARA, the logistics developer and fund manager grew its AUM by 5.5 percent during the year from $36.3 billion.
With warehouses in high demand as investors rush to get a slice of an expected surge in e-commerce post-coronavirus, GLP has kept its foot on the pedal in 2020.
In April, the company closed on its China Income Fund I (GLP CIF I), which has a total investment capacity of RMB 15 billion ($2.1 billion), while expanding into consumer goods distribution through its HK$7.2 billion ($930 million) buyout of Hong Kong’s Li & Fung, announced in March.
Blackstone Takes Global Pole Position
Globally, Blackstone tops the list of real estate fund managers with nearly $280 billion in assets under management, well above second-ranked Brookfield Asset Management’s $201.9 billion.
Prudential affiliate PGIM Real Estate notched $179.2 billion during the year to take third place globally, while TIAA division Nuveen took fourth place with $132.7 billion. Houston-based developer Hines finished fifth just behind Nuveen with $132 billion in assets under management.
“The survey points to continuing consolidation in the industry, which is supported by investors continuing to opt for the simplicity of dealing with a smaller number of global managers with the breadth and depth to access regions like Asia Pacific, as well as current market conditions,” said Delaunay.