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Singapore buying a 4th Korean building

Posted October. 10, 2000 15:42,   


Industry sources say that Singapore's investment authority (GIC) is purchasing a number of buildings in downtown Seoul.

GIC recently decided to purchase the Hanhyo Building in Sorin-dong, Chongro-ku, and is negotiating price and payment method. The 18-story building with 8,300 pyong of floor space is priced at about 65 billion won. The contract is expected to be concluded by the end of this month.

If the ongoing contract is concluded, GIC will own four buildings in Seoul, including the Halla Sigma Tower in Shinchon-dong, the Seoul Finance Center in Mukyo-dong and the Asiana Building in Hoehyon-dong.

GIC invested a total of 503 billion won to purchase the buildings, emerging as the leading buyer of real estate among foreign investors since 1998, when the nation's real estate market was opened to foreigners.

GIC is a specialized investment agency that the government of Singapore set up in 1981 in order to manage its foreign exchange reserve at a proper level. It is operating US$100 billion, which is bigger than the Korean government's annual budget. It is investing in nearly 30 countries, including Korea.

Real estate experts say that GIC is heavily investing in Korea because Korea's internal situation is stabilized compared with Thailand and Indonesia and because return on investment in real estates is attractive.

Song Jin-Hup jinhup@donga.com