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Allianz plans to double Asian property investments over 3 years

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Allianz SE's property unit plans to double investments in Asia over three years as the German firm is drawing in more money from its insurance operations in the region.

[SINGAPORE] Allianz SE's property unit plans to double investments in Asia over three years as the German firm is drawing in more money from its insurance operations in the region.

Property investments may swell to 3.75 billion euros (S$5.99 billion) by the end of 2020 from about 1.8 billion euros, according to Rushabh Desai, Asia-Pacific chief executive officer of Allianz Real Estate.

The "very fast" growth of the Asian insurance operations means the firm is accumulating money that can be channelled back into property investments in the region, Mr Desai said in an interview in Singapore.

That would boost its Asian exposure, which is relatively tiny so far, accounting for only about 3 per cent of Allianz Real Estate's 55 billion euro global portfolio centered on the US and Europe.

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"Asia has the most potential at this time, lots of areas are under-served," Mr Desai said.

So far, China and India account for more than half of Allianz Real Estate's investments in Asia, with the rest split between Australia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, Mr Desai said.

On his strategy for 2018, Mr Desai said:

- Focus will be on offices, but logistics is emerging as a favoured sector because of Asia's fast growth in e-commerce. Will look for more logistics opportunities in China and Japan and explore new markets such as India, South-east Asia and South Korea

- He's looking for more office investments in China, residential annuity investments in Japan

- Student accommodation and senior living offer opportunities across Asia

- He wants to start a lending book in Asia for long-tenure, fixed-rate loans, with Singapore and Australia offering opportunities

On the office outlook:

- Australia and Japan seem expensive. Tokyo has a lot of supply in the central business district

- Singapore seems to be bottoming out and turning positive China will be strong for the long term

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