Azeri fund SOFAZ sells office building in Seoul for $461 million

BAKU (Reuters) - Azerbaijan’s state fund SOFAZ said on Tuesday it had sold an office building in Seoul for 521.5 billion won ($460.8 million) to South Korean credit card company Shinhan Card.

SOFAZ manages the ex-Soviet country’s proceeds from oil contracts, oil and gas sales, transit fees and other revenues.

The fund said in a statement that Pine Avenue Tower A, a 25-storey office building purchased in March 2014 for 470 billion won, had been maintaining high occupancy levels and providing SOFAZ with a stable income stream.

“This sale demonstrates the resilient fundamentals of the real estate market, despite the challenging circumstances due to COVID-19,” Israfil Mammadov, the fund’s head, said in the statement.

“This direct asset sale is in line with our revised portfolio strategy that focuses on indirect real estate investments.”

Shinhan Card, which bought the building, is South Korea’s biggest credit card company and the major tenant there.

Mammadov told Reuters in September that $43-billion SOFAZ would only sell any of its real estate in the event of “an attractive offer”.

The fund has invested in real estate since 2012 by acquiring prime commercial properties in gateway cities around the world.

Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Alex Richardson