Singapore Mapletree:plans $928 mln Japan property fund

TOKYO, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Mapletree Investments, a real estate firm wholly owned by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings [TEM.UL], said it plans to launch an around 80 billion yen ($928 million) Japan property fund this year in a bid to expand in the country’s property sector ahead of its rivals.

The new fund, with a 30 billion yen equity portion, will invest in business-related properties such as data centres, research and development facilities and office buildings just outside central Tokyo and other big cities, Terence Heng, general manager of Mapletree Investments Japan told Reuters in an interview.

Mapletree, which opened its Japan office in 2007, has been ramping up its investment in Japanese logistics facilities mainly for its Mapletree Logistic Trust MAPL.SI, which owns warehouses and other industrial properties across Asia.

In Japan, the Singaporean company manages 12 properties, mostly logistics assets, worth 60 billion yen. But it aims to more than triple this to 200 billion yen in the next 2 to 3 years before competition heats up in the market, Heng said.

Mapletree will soon ink three acquisition deals, worth about 13 billion yen, for its logistics trust, he continued. Another three or four transactions are also in the pipeline for the new fund, and there are also a few logistics facility development projects underway, he added. (Reporting by Mariko Katsumura; Editing by Joseph Radford)