From the Current Issue
Grosvenor Asia Pacific Ltd. has acquired the The Mark Minami-Azabu, a luxury apartment complex in Tokyo.
Urbanization is an Asia Pacific trend that will continue in dramatic fashion in the years ahead, as people keep leaving rural areas for cities in unprecedented numbers. The urban population of Asia is projected to nearly double between 2010 and 2050, adding as many people to urban areas in one generation as in all of history – an average of almost 41 million ever year. Some will go to existing megacities, but many will go to new developments where opportunities beckon. To meet the needs of these new urban dwellers, roads, rails and bridges must be built or upgraded; electrical power must be put in; and water and waste treatment must be provided. Solid infrastructure must be in place for the real estate sectors to thrive. How can Asian countries create these livable cities and ensure their economic growth will be maximized?
I’m not sure the folks who are trying to push the idea that real estate investing is really a part of private equity investing are doing a good thing — at least, not if their intention is to position real estate investing as a subset of private equity investing.
While we can be under no illusion about the deleveraging challenge facing the economies of the industrialized world, the rally in financial markets at least reflects improving lead indicators in the United States, emerging markets and, to a lesser extent, even the euro zone, where liquidity, if not solvency, concerns have abated. Perhaps the markets sense that we are past the point of maximum uncertainty.
There is increasing “noise” around the impending water crisis and the greater degree of water scarcity. In February, parts of England were put on drought alert, reflecting reduced levels of rainfall over the past two winters, while other parts of England have more than sufficient supplies. In March, the European Environment Agency identified that a lack of water resources could threaten Europe’s productivity, and that in some river basins water scarcity continues to worsen. Water scarcity is an issue; it is a local problem but has global implications for society and business.
Win Phromphaet is head of global and real estate investments with the Social Security Office of Thailand, which had total assets of 883,424 million baht (US$29 billion), as of 31 December 2011. Of that amount, approximately US$200 million is invested in real estate. Phromphaet recently spoke with Alex Eidlin, managing director – Asia Pacific, with Institutional Real Estate, Inc., about his organization’s real estate program and plan to start investing in property globally.