- October 1, 2013: Vol. 25, Number 9

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South Korean investors expand their horizons

by Mike Consol


South Korean real estate investors put a couple of stakes in the ground during 2009 and 2010 that grabbed the attention of institutional investors. It was then that the National Pension Service of Korea bought two of the world’s landmark office buildings in London and Sydney, Australia.

With those strokes of the pen and the acquisitions of HSBC tower in London for $1.2 billion and Aurora Place in Sydney for $620 million, the world was put on notice that new high-stakes players had entered the game in the form of South Korean pensions and insurance companies. Since then, the flow of South Korean investment dollars has been consistent, according to data compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle, but during the first half of this year, the floodgates have been thrown open, as the South Koreans acquired more than $5 billion of overseas commercial property.

The United States has also become a target market, one example being the May acquisition of a 31-story class A of

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