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Hong Kong investment group looks to Australian mortgages

A Hong Kong-based investment company has launched a real estate debt fund to invest in first and second mortgages for commercial and residential real estate in Australia and Asia Pacific.

Multiple Capital Investment Partners (MCIP), the in-house real estate investment group of Hong Kong investment company Sung Hung Kai & Co (SHK & CO), is launching a real estate debt fund that will invest in “high-quality mortgage loans” (first and second mortgages for commercial and residential real estate) in Asia Pacific over its five-year life. 

MCIP aims to raise between US$200 million and US$300 million ($263 million - $394 million) for the fund, with SHK & CO having already committed USD$100 million ($131 million).

The fund is focusing on Australia and other “developed markets”, such as New Zealand, Greater China, South Korea and south-east Asia.

It is being co-led by partners and portfolio managers Rai Katimansah and Simon Tozer, based in Singapore and Melbourne, respectively.

In a joint statement, Mr Katimansah and Mr Tozer said: “We see compelling investment opportunities to make attractive risk-adjusted returns by extending loans to well-established borrowers across APAC markets where MCIP and SHK & Co have strong deal sourcing networks and execution capabilities. 

“The strategy is yield-driven and offers downside protection for those looking for carefully risk-managed access to both the real estate lending market and the APAC growth story.” 

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Seng Huang Lee, group executive chairman of SHK & Co and member of the Investment Committee of MCIP, added: “Credit, including real estate lending, is a core business and competency of SHK & Co. 

“We are excited to bring together the infrastructure and transparency of a [Hong Kong] listed company, the commitment and consistency of a family business and the experienced professionals in the MCIP team. 

“This combination will offer an institutional quality product right from the start.” 

SHK & Co was established in 1969 and invests across public markets, alternatives and real assets in Asia. It is also the major shareholder of consumer finance firm United Asia Finance Ltd (formerly known as Japan Finance (​International) Ltd). 

It recently extended its strategy to incubate, accelerate and support emerging asset managers in the APAC region.

Several Asian financiers and lenders have been looking to the Australian market recently, and vice versa.

Crowd Bank, a Japanese crowdfunding platform, entered into the Australian market after becoming an investor in marketplace lender Zagga, while Pepper announced earlier this year that it will enter the Japanese financial services market, after acquiring 100 per cent of Millennium Holdings KK, the holding company of Millennium Corporation (Millennium).

[Related:  Pepper enters Japanese market]

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