Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
SEOUL, KOREA - ARA Asset Management, a property management company part-owned by Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong business magnate and the chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings, will move in to the Korea real estate market by taking over the Korean property operations of Macquarie Group Ltd.
Singapore-based REIT company ARA Asset Management announced in a regulatory filing on December 23 that it would acquire Macquarie Real Estate Korea that manages 588.4 billion won of properties in two privately held property trusts. In addition, ARA Asset Management will purchase a 10.02-percent stake in one of the REITs owned by Macquarie at an undisclosed price.
John Lim, chief executive officer of ARA Asset Management, said in a statement, the acquisition is "To capitalize on the tremendous real estate opportunities in Asia's fourth largest economy."
Industry observers said this may be a move by chairman Li to shift his real estate investment portfolio away from the already-saturated Chinese market toward North Asia. Earlier in September this year, his company sold off commercial properties in Shanghai, raising speculation that a bubble burst in the Shanghai real estate market may be impending.