Singapore’s CapitaLand Investment is setting up a S$350 million ($256 million) fund with Thai developer Pruksa Holding to invest in wellness and healthcare-related real estate assets in Southeast Asia.
After the initial joint commitment, CapitaLand Investment Wellness Fund (C-Well) is targeting a fund size of S$500 million with an option to expand the investment to S$1 billion. In a statement on Tuesday, the partners said the fund will initially focus on Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia as they targeting an asset value of S$2.9 billion for the fully deployed vehicle.
“This is an opportune time to expand our footprint into wellness and healthcare-related real estate in Southeast Asia, one of the fastest growing regions in the world,” said Patricia Goh, chief executive officer for Southeast Asia investment at CapitaLand Investment.
The joint venture is currently evaluating investment opportunities for the fund, a CapitaLand representative told Mingtiandi. The venture marks the second collaboration between CapitaLand Investment and Pruksa after the two companies joined hands with Taiwan’s Ally Logistic Property to form a $740 million Southeast Asia logistics fund in December of last year.
The C-Well fund intends to address the growing demand for healthcare properties and services in Southeast Asia as 20.3 percent of the region’s population is predicted to be over age 65 by 2030, according to statistics from medical journal BMJ. In Singapore, health spending per capita is projected to increase from S$4,793 in 2020 to S$7,405 in 2050.
To broaden the venture’s user base the partners say they are taking an operator-agnostic approach to their investments and aim to acquire and develop a range of single or mixed-use wellness-based assets incorporating healthcare components or designed to benefit from the region’s ageing demographic. Property types included in the venture’s scope are residential care facilities, retirement communities, clinics, medical suites, hospitals and hotels for medical tourists.
Pruksa in February had announced an expansion of its healthcare business as it looks to capitalise on the region’s ageing population. With THB 71.7 billion ($2 billion) in assets, the Bangkok-based developer owns and operates Vimut Hospital and Theptarin Hospital in the Thai capital. The Thai-listed company plans to invest THB 17 billion ($473 million) through 2027 to expand its healthcare portfolio with three new Vimut hospitals and 14 wellness and nursing care centres in Greater Bangkok in the next five years, according to a local news report citing officials at Pruksa and Vimut.
In a separate Thai-language statement on Tuesday, Pruksa’s group chief executive Uten Lohachitpitaks said the company aims to leverage CapitaLand’s Ascott hospitality platform and Pruksa’s Vimut Hospital to increase investment opportunities in its healthcare-related properties and business. The new venture will also make use of The Ascott’s asset management capabilities to manage assets acquired under the C-Well fund.
“At Pruksa, we see shifting dynamics related to the increasing proportion of elderly individuals living independently and the potential impact on their health,” Lohachitpitaks said. “We anticipate that this trend will lead to a growing demand for healthier real estate options tailored for ‘ageing in place’ care. We understand that a growing ageing population deserves more than just buildings, they deserve environments that nurture their physical, emotional, and mental well-being.”
The partnership follows similar regional moves in the wellness-based property sector, including Sydney-based alternative asset manager HMC Capital’s September launch of a A$650 million fund for healthcare assets in Australia.
Emerging Medical Hub
Southeast Asia has experienced rapid growth in its healthcare sector, with Thailand and Singapore among the leading players in the region thanks to their established healthcare infrastructure and internationally accredited hospitals.
The Thai government has been promoting the nation as a medical hub including having set a comprehensive 10-year strategy (2017-2026) focused on promoting and enhancing a range of healthcare-related industries including medical treatment services, health and wellness services, medical research, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The Singapore Tourism Board predicts that the city-state’s wellness tourism industry will reach US$1.1 trillion by 2025, with the goal of establishing the Lion City as an “Urban Wellness destination”.
“Underpinned by strong growth fundamentals including longer life expectancies, higher disposable income and changing lifestyle trends, the longevity economy in the region has gained traction with increasing market favour for real estate prioritising wellness and healthcare,” said Goh.