September 3, 2013 / 10:27 PM / in 6 years

Hong Kong's Gaw Capital creates U.S. real estate company

NEW YORK, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Gaw Capital Partners, a Hong Kong-based private equity real estate company focused on Greater China and Asia, said on Tuesday said it had formed a company that intends to raise up to $500 million to invest in U.S. commercial real estate.

Timothy Walsh, the former chief investment officer and director of New Jersey Division of Investment, the state’s $74 billion public pension fund, was named president and chief operations officer of Gaw Capital US, Gaw Capital Partners said.

Chinese overseas real estate investment has been on the rise since 2007 and continues to grow, according to a study released also on Tuesday by real estate services company CBRE Group Inc . New regulations permit China’s national insurance institutions to invest up to 15 percent of their assets in real estate they don’t occupy, the study said.

Last year, those institutions had assets totaling $1.2 trillion. Under the new regulations that would translate into $180 billion available for real estate investment and about $14.4 billion for oversees real estate, the study said.

Meanwhile, Gaw Capital US said it plans to raise a U.S. Fund in the fourth quarter, targeting an investor base in both Asia and North America.

The fund will invest in office and hotel properties that Gaw can restore and renovate in urban locations.

Through its associate, Downtown Properties Holdings, Gaw Capital Partners, has been investing in U.S. real estate since 1991. Its portfolio in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Hawaii comprises more than 2.5 million square feet of office buildings, hotels, golf courses, a ski resort and residential redevelopment projects.

Among its investments is the restoration of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.

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