Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Norway Fund to Open Tokyo Office as It Prepares to Buy Property

Norway’s $890 billion sovereign wealth fund plans to open an office in Tokyo as it prepares to enter Asia’s real estate market.

The investor is in the process of building a team there and will open an office some time this year, fund spokeswoman Marthe Skaar said in an e-mail. She declined to provide further details.

After getting the green-light in 2010 to expand into the property market, the fund has bought real estate in prime locations such as Times Square and Champs Elysees. It now has a strategy to focus on 10 to 15 cities globally and has been eyeing opportunities in Asia for a few years. In March, the fund said it had narrowed its search in the region to Tokyo and Singapore.

“Tokyo is arguably the single biggest market in the world for real estate,” Karsten Kallevig, head of the fund’s real estate investments, said in March. While the wealth fund doesn’t have an official spending target, “we can invest a lot in Asia,” he said.

The investor held about $20.4 billion, or 2.3 percent of its assets, in real estate at the end of March. It is mandated by the Norwegian government to hold 5 percent in property, 60 percent in stocks and 35 percent in bonds. The fund is based in Oslo and has offices in London, New York, Shanghai and Singapore.

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