Norway Fund Among Bidders for Asia Square Tower

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is among bidders for BlackRock Inc.’s Asia Square Tower 1, an office building in Singapore’s central business district, according to people familiar with the matter.

CapitaLand Ltd., Singapore’s largest developer, and Keppel Land Ltd. have also made offers for the property, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. The office tower could be valued at more than S$3.5 billion ($2.5 billion), according to the people.

The agreement for Asia Square Tower 1 could be reached over the next 60 days, one of the people said.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, said earlier this year that it has received expressions of interest for Asia Square Tower 1 and could get more than S$4 billion for the building whose tenants include Citigroup Inc. BlackRock may also look to sell Asia Square Tower 2, Greg Lapham, a real estate managing director at the firm, said in June.

The two towers together are worth S$7 billion, Lapham said at the time, and the sale could be a club deal — in which several investors bid together — or could attract investors such as sovereign wealth or pension funds.

Norway’s wealth fund, which is the world’s biggest, gets its capital from the country’s oil and gas production and its investment guidelines from the government. It is mandated to hold about 60 percent in stocks, 35 percent in bonds and 5 percent in real estate.

Singapore’s office rents peaked in the first quarter as economic growth shows signs of tapering, and Grade-A office rents in the central business district could slide 14 percent over the next two years to S$9.12 per square foot per month from S$10.60 per square foot, Cushman estimates.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-25/norway-fund-said-among-bidders-for-blackrock-s-singapore-tower

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