China Investment Corp.’s most high-profile real estate investment in Japan so far is just the sovereign wealth fund’s latest move in steadily building up its property portfolio. CIC, together with Blackstone Group L.P., agreed to buy a Japanese property loan portfolio from Morgan Stanley last year for around US$1 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
CIC has been showing increasing interest in distressed property assets since the financial crisis, particularly in the U.S. Depressed real-estate values there have been drawing interest from foreign investors from all over, though the value of investments still pales in comparison to the pre-crisis days of 2007, when in the third quarter overseas investment peaked at $8.7 billion.
Last year CIC entered talks with Harvard University’s endowment to buy its stakes in a number of U.S.-focused real estate funds for about $500 million. That followed from commitments by CIC to invest $1 billion each in funds managed by Brookfield Asset Management and Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, The Wall Street Journal reported.