Published: Sunday September 9, 2012 MYT 4:13:00 PM
EPF looking at property investment opportunities in UK, Australia
LONDON: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is looking at investment opportunities in properties in the United Kingdom and Australia worth 400 to 500 million pounds in the next two years.
Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Azlan Zainol said the fund has, to date, invested one billion pounds in seven buildings in the United Kingdom.
"We're also looking at investment opportunities in Europe, but we're more comfortable in the United Kingdom because of the similar laws with Malaysia.
"Australia also has a similar legal structure as us," he told Malaysian journalists on the sidelines of the Battersea Power Station project familiarisation event.
On EPF's investments in properties in Australia, Azlan said all the three properties invested in were office space, one property was direct investment while the other two were through investments in funds.
"Over the last two to three years, we've been investing overseas," he said, adding that 23 percent of EPF funds have been approved for investment overseas.
"So far, we've invested 12 percent already. We're looking for good buildings and returns in England and Australia," he said.
On investments in London's Battersea Power Station project, in which EPF has 20 percent stake in a special purpose vehicle known as Battersea Project Holding Company Ltd, Azlan said EPF was a passive investor and left it to the other two partners, Sime Darby Bhd and SP Setia Bhd, to drive the project.
On expected returns from the iconic riverside property development project in central London, Azlan said: "In any property development project, we expect beyond 10 percent per annum."
"I would like to see this project completed in nine to 10 years," he said.
Battersea Power Station project construction is to begin now as the sale of the site to a Malaysian consortium comprising Sime Darby, SP Setia and EPF has been completed.
The project is expected to take a minimum of 10 years under a number of phases.
As to the risks in the Battersea Power Station project, Azlan said: This is a huge development area in London and most importantly Sime Darby and SP Setia are involved in this project." - Bernama