HOW CRAZY IS THIS? EPF TO BUY RM1.5BIL POLISH MALL – IS THERE NO PLACE CLOSER TO HOME TO INVEST IN?

THE Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) plans to acquire a mall in Poland in bid to maximise its returns and expand its real estate investments in Eastern Europe, Berita Harian reported today.

The Malay daily, in quoting sources, reported that the fund, through its European investment arm Kwasa, had submitted an application to the Polish authorities to allow the purchase of Galeria Katowicka from real estate management frm Meyer Bergman.

“No value was revealed at this moment, although based on present market evaluation, the mall price is around €300 million (RM1.53 billion,” said the source.

Galeria Katowicka is in the city of Katowice, and was opened to the public in September 2013. It has 53,000 square metres of retail space, as well as 250 tenants.

The mall was built at a cost of €240 million by a consortium of four companies, including Meyer Bergman, which later bought all the Galeria Katowicka equity from the other three companies.

The report also said this would not be EPF’s first real estate investment in Poland. The fund had bought a building in Warsaw for €186 million.

In early August, EPF was reported to have reaped the returns from investing in London when it sold the Tower Bridge House property to a company based in Seoul, Mirae Asset Global Investment Group, at £205 million (RM1.15 billion). Berita Harian reported EPF made RM360 million in profit from real estate appreciation and foreign exchange.

Early this year, the fund also announced its intention to buy a new property in London from the “returns of its investments”.

“The assets will be sold when the price is high and based on market conditions,” said the fund, adding that EPF would use the profits for other investments.

EPF also recently invested in Australia, with the purchase of a 49% stake in a real estate company that presently held the rights to develop projects in South Melbourne.

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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