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Hong Kong property fund eyes $400m in Japanese investments

Goodwin Gaw, chairman of Gaw Capital Partners

HONG KONG -- Gaw Capital Partners plans a surge of investment in Japanese hotels, commercial buildings and other real estate over the next two years, aiming to profit from brisk foreign tourism.

The Hong Kong real estate fund manager sees Japan as a critical market and will spend $300 million to $400 million on property in the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya areas by 2017, Chairman Goodwin Gaw told The Nikkei.

A rising number of visitors from around Asia is boosting the value of real estate tied to tourism in Japan, Gaw said. His company acquired Osaka's Hyatt Regency Hotel in 2014. More recently, the firm bought a commercial building in Tokyo's Aoyama district for around 7 billion yen ($65.3 million) in January. A large select shop popular with Japanese consumers and foreign tourists opened its flagship location there at the end of April, Gaw said.

Gaw Capital Partners plans to earmark $1.5 billion to $2 billion to invest in Asia over the next three years, with $800 million to $1 billion slated for real estate on the Chinese mainland. The property market there remains in a slump. But growth in consumption is as sharp as ever, and more chances for investment are emerging in major cities, Gaw said.

The company also plans to spend around $100 million to renovate Pacific Century Place, a large mixed-use property in Beijing acquired in 2014 from Hong Kong communications company PCCW, Gaw said. He named Vietnam as one of Southeast Asia's most promising markets.

Gaw Capital Partners had around $12 billion under management at the end of 2015, primarily in Asian property.

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