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Norwegian sovereign wealth fund appears to have no confidence in investing in Singapore properties

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By: Jenny Lee/

In an interview with Financial Times (FT), Norway’s sovereign wealth fund – which is derived mainly from oil export – indicated that they are shunning property investments in Singapore.

The fund has been scouring Asia since 2015 for property investments but only concluded its first deal on Thursday, 7 Dec 2017. It invested some US$823 million in five buildings in some of Tokyo’s biggest shopping districts and is looking for more property deals there.

The fund has become one of the world’s biggest property investors in just seven years, building a portfolio of US$25bn in big European and US cities. However, despite having an office in Singapore, the Norwegian fund is less inclined to invest in Singapore’s properties.

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Karsten Kallevig, head of the fund’s property business, told FT that they had found it harder in Singapore due to “different dynamics”. He said that rents were very volatile in Singapore.

“With pricing and opportunities . . . we have not been able to conclude on anything that for us provides the confidence to start investing there (Singapore),” he added.

Mr Kallevig categorised his country’s SWF as a long-term investor that is looking to buy the highest quality assets. “We go into this assuming that everything we buy we will own forever,” he said.

Obviously, he didn’t consider Singapore properties as “highest quality assets”.

“We should only invest if we are convinced it is a good investment according to our strategy, good for the fund in the long time, not being caught doing deals for the sake of doing deals,” Mr Kallevig added.

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