Dutch insurer ASR has expanded its property investment management business, after holding a third closing for its €1.3bn prime Netherlands retail fund and planning an equity raising next year for a residential fund.
A French insurer invested €50m in the ASR Dutch Prime Retail Fund, bringing the total external equity raised within two years to more than €500m.
Bas Tiemstra, managing director of commercial real estate at ASR REIM, said the open- ended, core fund now has seven investors alongside ASR, which has been selling down its equity.
The others are a second French institution; a Swiss corporate pension fund; a Dutch investor; a Dutch manager investing on behalf of two UK and Dutch pension fund clients; and a Belgian insurance company.
Next year Tiemstra expects to attract capital from the Far East: “With the sheer amount some
investors there have to invest, the appetite for core European investments is increasing beyond the focus of London, Paris and some German cities.
“We will start in Japan, then Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and later Australia.”
Some of the new equity has been earmarked for the pipeline and some for asset management and development.
The fund has spent €80m so far this year and has two developments in the Hague. Tiemstra said it is on track to pay a 5% dividend yield and it recently negotiated a new debt facility with ABN Amro, for gearing between 5% and 10%.
Tiemstra said ASR REIM has structured an €800m core Dutch residential fund and “we are thinking we’ll go into the equity market next year.
“The Netherlands has not been flavour of the month, but that is changing rapidly,” he added.
“The Dutch market has more or less hit the bottom and a lot of private equity money is coming in, mainly for offices and residential.”
CBRE Real Estate Finance is the retail fund’s placement agent.