UPDATE 1-HKMA eyeing office property in London, Paris-paper

Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:18pm EDT

(Add HKMA comment)

* HKMA eyes $500 mln in office property in London, Paris -paper

* HKMA declines comment

LONDON/HONG KONG, July 25 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is planning to buy $500 million worth of office properties in London and Paris as part of a drive to increase its investment in Europe, the Times reported on Monday without citing sources.

The newspaper said that HKMA will increase its exposure in the two European capitals through the Exchange Fund, an investment vehicle HKMA manages.

The HKMA declined to comment on the report.

"We do not comment on the specifics of the investment operations of the Exchange Fund because of the market-sensitive nature of the information," a spokesperson for the HKMA said.

The newspaper said the fund purchased its first building in London's City financial district this year, while JP Morgan Asset Management's 260 million pound ($424 million) acquisition of 10 Aldermanbury Square was on behalf of HKMA's investment portfolio.

The Times said it believed that other potential investment advisers and fund managers have been approached to help the fund to secure further office investments.

Last week, HKMA said the total assets of the Exchange Fund, which is used to back the Hong Kong dollar, amounted to HK$2,433.2 billion ($312.23 billion) at end-June 2011, an increase of HK$88.2 billion from the end of 2010. ($1 = 0.613 British Pounds) (Reporting by Donny Kwok and Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Alison Leung; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Jonathan Hopfner)

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