* Singapore SWF, Abu Dhabi SWF, US real estate firm buying
1.1 mln sq ft of Time Warner Center
* Purchase follows GIC's recent $2.8 bln deal for London
* Deal prompted by rising property prices, accelerating
* Time Warner to shift all corporate operations under one
roof to save money
Jan 17 Singapore's GIC Pte Ltd is
partnering a group of investors to buy $1.3 billion worth of
Manhattan office space from Time Warner Inc, as the
sovereign wealth fund steps up its purchases of real estate
where it sees increasing value.
GIC, which has signalled its investments are driven by
opportunity rather than geography, has been buying up real
estate in developed markets as property prices recover from lows
hit during the 2008-9 financial crisis.
Just three weeks ago, GIC partnered British Land Co Plc
to buy London office and retail space from U.S. private
equity firm Blackstone Group LP for around 1.7 billion
pounds ($2.78 billion).
In its latest deal, GIC, together with a venture of the Abu
Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) as well as U.S. real estate
firm Related Companies, will buy 1.1 million square feet of
office space in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle.
The consortium will lease the office space until early 2019
to Time Warner, which is moving all its business units from HBO
to CNN under one roof at the Hudson Yards development to save
"Economic data from the U.S. and U.K. is getting a little
more bullish, so GIC is trying to capitalize," said Chua Hak
Bin, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Singapore.
"Real estate has always been part of its diversified
The World Bank this week raised its global economic
expansion forecast for the first time in three years as growth
picked up pace in developed countries.
The bank expects stronger growth in the United States in
particular, at 2.8 percent this year compared with 1.8 percent
GIC has also recently invested in Indian and Indonesian real
estate, but the size of those deals pale in comparison to those
in New York and London.
Real estate accounted for about 10 percent of the fund's
assets at the end of March, according to its last annual report.
In the report, it said "asset-specific conditions and risk
are among the factors that influence investment decisions."
GIC ranks as the world's eighth largest fund with $285
billion worth of assets, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund
The institute ranks ADIA at No.3 with $627 billion worth of
assets ranging from bonds of Citigroup Inc to a stake in
Britain's Gatwick Airport.
ADIA allocates 5 to 10 percent of its portfolio to real
estate and prefers to invest mainly through third-party fund
managers or joint venture agreements, it said in its 2012 annual