EPF mulls sale of more UK assets

  • Business
  • Friday, 05 Feb 2016

Investment potential: An EPF staff member attending to questions from customers at a service counter of the pension fund’s headquaters in Kuala Lumpur. Property investment makes up only about 2 or RM14bil of the EPF’s total assets that stand at around RM685bil currently.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is open to selling more of its properties in the United Kingdom and is currently in the midst of “prospecting” one party to this end.

Deputy CEO (investment) Datuk Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif noted that while the property market in the UK had softened a bit, the fund remained open to prospective buyers.

“We are not closing the doors. If someone comes to us with an offer that we can’t resist, we will take it,” he said at a briefing for selected media here yesterday.

In April last year, the EPF sold its One Sheldon Square in London for £210mil (about RM1.27bil), gaining a good premium for one of its earliest investments in London – also one of the first overseas markets it bought real estate in.

The EPF had paid £156mil back in 2010 to acquire that nine-storey office block.

Mohamad Nasir said that in recent times, the fund had started buying more properties in Europe because of the slightly higher yields it offered.

“Yields in London were something like 6%. Today, it is about 5%. So, we have diversified into countries like Germany and France, those are giving us better yields,” he said.

Its overseas properties include a number of office buildings located around London city and 12 hospitals in the UK purchased in 2013.

The fund also has property assets in Germany, France, Australia and Japan.

According to reports, the EPF has invested more than £1bil in the UK and more than 1 billion euros in France and Germany since 2008/09.

Still, property investment makes up only about 2% or RM14bil of the EPF’s total assets that stand at around RM685bil currently.

In terms of overseas investments, about 27% or some RM185bil of the EPF’s investments are located abroad.

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