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London and Singapore

Major Asian investor makes first European foray with purchase of landmark office in Brussels

Jones Lang LaSalle advises on new joint venture between Hannover Leasing and major Asian investor


​LONDON AND SINGAPORE, 17 June 2013 - Jones Lang LaSalle's Belgian capital markets team and International Capital Group have advised Hannover Leasing and a major Asian institutional investor on the purchase of 100% of shares in RAC 1 from BREEVAST Group (60 %) and IMMOBEL (40 %).  RAC1’s main activity is the development, construction and letting of the landmark Belair project in Brussels, Belgium, which is due to complete in December 2013 and will provide over 80,000 sq. m. of mixed-use space.

The Belair project is the largest component of the redevelopment of the former Federal Administrative Centre, which is located in the heart of Brussels’ CBD between the prestigious Rue Royale and the Boulevard Pacheco. BREEVAST and IMMOBEL have been redeveloping the complex since 2003.

This transaction is an example of cross-border capital entering the market in Continental Europe and demonstrates that Asian investors who are seeking higher yields are prepared to geographically diversify their real estate portfolio, while maintaining their focus on prime locations, core product and institutional-quality tenants. 

Matthew Richards, director, International Capital Group, EMEA, Jones Lang LaSalle commented: “Since the beginning of the economic downturn, London has received a disproportionate share of Asian capital inflows. However, as core assets in London become scarcer, we expect to see an increased focus on prime locations in mainland Europe, where net investment was up 36 percent in 2012, supported by an 80 percent increase from Asia Pacific.”

He continued: “Asian investors are starting to compete with other active cross-border investors by working with partners and establishing joint venture arrangements to match equity with local and regional expertise. By embarking on a joint purchase with Hannover Leasing, this new market entrant was able to make its debut in mainland Europe with the benefit of its partner’s leading local asset management capabilities.”

“As Asian investors’ continue to move up the risk curve, bolstered by trusted local partners, and expand their portfolios beyond the traditional investment hubs of London and Paris in search of greater yield, we expect this trend to gather pace throughout 2013 and beyond.”

Globally, Asian groups have been among the most active investors throughout the first half of 2013 and Jones Lang LaSalle predicts that the growth in domestic savings rates in Asia could generate US$2 trillion worth of direct real estate investment by 2020.

Notes to editors

1. Jones Lang LaSalle’s International Capital Group is a dedicated cross border investment team focused on helping clients place capital and debt across multiple regions and markets globally. Visit our website for more information.

2. Image of Belair available for download here