Tuesday, January 4, 2011

CIC Increases US CRE Investments

This transaction is actually a few months old, but the story is running the theme over the last several days of vast foreign interest in US CRE investments:

“CIC is very bullish on investing in real estate in the U.S.,” as are major Chinese banks, Jeffrey Lenobel, chairman of the real estate group at the New York law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, said in a telephone interview. “There is every reason to think you will see them together more often.” ...

CIC acquired a 7.6 percent stake in General Growth Properties Inc. in November through a fund manager that participated in the bankruptcy reorganization for the second- largest U.S. mall owner. A CIC subsidiary holds a controlling stake in Beijing’s Bank of China Ltd., which agreed in November to lend investors $800 million to refinance an office building on Manhattan’s Park Avenue.

“CIC has always wanted to get into the overseas real estate market and they are looking for opportunities in big cities,” said Paul Lin, a Beijing-based director of research for Knight Frank. “CIC is very powerful but it won’t be very aggressive. I don’t think it’s aiming to take over half of Manhattan.”

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