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AEW raises $558m Asia fund

The new vehicle , already 20 percent invested, will invest in high specification commercial premises in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and China.

Boston-based AEW Capital Management has closed a vehicle focused on Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and China with a total of $557.8 million (€360 million) in equity commitments.

Twenty percent of the new fund, AEW Value Investors Asia, has already been invested. AEW chief executive officer Jeff Furber said it would seek to capitalize on the growing demand for institutional quality space.  ‘‘Demand now outpaces available supply in many of these markets and much of the existing stock is either under-managed or poorly executed development projects, so we see significant opportunity to add value,” he said in a statement.

The firm also said the new fund would undertake redevelopment, repositioning, re-leasing, recapitalization and selective development, offering investors both current income and appreciation potential.

As real estate investment trusts in the area have slumped, particularly in Japan and Singapore, private equity firms are looking to grab some of the investor interest that has turned away from real estate in public markets.

AEW, which is controlled by the asset management arm of French investment bank Natixis, currently manages over $50 billion of real estate assets and securities in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The firm opened its Singapore office in 2006, at the same time adding former ING chief investment officer Peter Wittendorp and former BT Financial portfolio manager Antony Knep to the team for Asia. The firm began raising the Asia fund after it opened its Singapore office.