Singapore's GIC buys stake in British mall

Singapore - Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC will pay close to US$60 million (S$86.7 million) for a 50 percent stake in a leisure and dining development in Britain, a joint statement said on Friday.

GIC, one of the world's top 10 state investment funds, will pay British property firm Hammerson £48.5 million (S$86 million) for a larger stake in the newly opened Watermark development in Southampton, the statement said.

GIC already has a stake in the newly-opened lifestyle complex - which is expected to bring in £5.5 million yearly - through a joint venture with Hammerson, and the partnership is to be extended.

"As a long-term investor, we focus on ensuring that income streams from our investments are stable and resilient," said Madeleine Cosgrave, regional head of GIC Real Estate in Europe.

Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said the development was the largest of its kind in Britain.

GIC has made several forays into Europe this year - in September, it acquired a 7,150-bed student accommodation in what was described as Britain's largest student accommodation deal this year.

In November, the fund bought P3 Logistic Parks, a top European warehouse developer and manager for 2.4 billion euros (S$3.9 billion) in Europe's biggest real estate transaction this year.

Formerly known as the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, GIC manages Singapore's foreign reserves with a focus on long-term performance.

It does not disclose the exact value of its portfolio, saying only that it has "well over US$100 billion of assets" in more than 40 countries, including real estate, equities and fixed-income investments.

The US-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute says GIC has US$344 billion of assets under management, making it the world's eighth largest.

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