QIA seeks $2bn financing to fund tower deal

13 June 2016

Sovereign wealth fund is in talks with banks for financing its acquisition of tower in Singapore

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is in talks with banks to raise as much as $2bn to finance its acquisition of prime property in Singapore.

QIA has held talks with banks to borrow between $1.5bn and $2bn, according to news agency Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Talks are at early stages and QIA has not finalised the timeline for the borrowing. A spokesman for the QIA declined to comment to the news agency.

QIA announced an agreement to purchase Asia Square Tower 1 office tower from BlackRock in early June for $2.5bn, in the largest-ever single-tower real estate deal in the Asia-Pacific region. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, had to settle for a lower price than it had originally anticipated for the 43-story tower. The building in the central business district has more than 1.25 million square feet of net lettable area and has tenants including Citigroup and private equity giant KKR & Company.

QIA, which manages investments for the natural gas-rich nation, has invested about $38bn in property around the world, with $21.7bn in office transactions and $7.5bn for hotels, including the 2014 purchase of the St. Regis Rome, according to Real Capital Analytics.

QIA’s real estate portfolio includes Los Angeles office buildings acquired earlier this year from US real estate investment trust Douglas Emmett for $1.34bn and London’s Canary Wharf Group and parent Songbird Estates. In 2015, Qatar was the second-biggest foreign purchaser of US offices, following its investment in US firm Brookfield Property Partners’ $8.6bn Manhattan West scheme.

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