Merrill raises $2.65 bn to invest in Asian real estate

Merrill raises $2.65 bn to invest in Asian real estate

Mumbai: Financial services firm Merrill Lynch has raised $2.65 billion (Rs11,925 crore) for its Asian Real Estate Opportunity Fund in committed capital from investors in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Merrill would invest this fund in direct real estate assets and real estate companies in Asia.

“We see exceptional opportunities in Asian real estate over the medium and longer term. As a longstanding and leading real estate investor in the region, the Asian Real Estate Opportunity Fund is a natural extension of our business," Merrill Lynch Pacific Rim Global Commercial Real Estate Managing Director Tim Grady said in a statement.

US banking major Bank of America (BoA) agreed to acquire Merrill Lynch last month in a $50-billion deal after the latter suffered huge losses in the subprime-related crisis.

The Asian Real Estate Opportunity Fund is the firm’s first fund dedicated to making real estate investments in Asia, the statement said.

The fund has a primary focus in Japan, China, South Korea and India and a secondary focus in Australia and Southeast Asia, the company said.

Those who have invested in the opportunity fund include pension funds, endowments and foundations and private individuals, the statement added.

Merrill Lynch has operations in 40 countries and has total client assets worth $1.6 trillion.