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Top 3 Real Estate Investment Firms in Southeast Asia in 2024

Southeast Asia's real estate market has an impressive mix of high-quality real estate investment firms, at least compared to other emerging markets. It should come as no surprise that most are based in Singapore, and focused primarily on advanced logistics investments. The top three property investors in the region are unpacked and those include CapitaLand Investments, GLP, and ESR Cayman Limited. Honorable mentions also discussed are Temasek (i.e., Mapletree), Blackstone, Nuveen Real Estate, Brookfield Asset Management, PGIM Real Estate, and UBS Asset Management. Taken together these are considered the best real estate investment firms in Southeast Asia.


southeast asia building skyline with colorful sunset

This Emerging Real Estate Digest article identifies the top three largest real estate investors in Southeast Asia based on real estate AUM globally in 2023. Exact figures are difficult to ascertain which is complicated by varying accounting standards and definitions used by the investment firms. With that caveat in place, the below list is close enough to be valuable to companies considering an investment in the region and a starting point for further analysis.


The Top 5 Real Estate Fund Managers in Southeast Asia


Here are the top 3 fund managers and real estate investors, with honorable mentions also included, based on activity in the region and real estate AUM as of 2023:


  1. CapitaLand Investments

  2. GLP

  3. ESR Cayman Limited

  4. Honorable Mentions


(1) CapitaLand Investments


CapitaLand is a Singaporean giant real estate developer and investor with approximately $65.5 billion of real estate AUM in Asia Pacific ($136 billion globally). The firm was listed in Singapore in 1998 as Singapore's first ever REIT, the CapitaLand Mall Trust.


In 2011, CapitaLand entered Malaysia with the country's first REIT, the CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust. In 2019, the firm doubled down on logistics and merged with Ascendas-Singbridge through an $8.1 billion acquisition making it one of the largest real estate deals in Asia that year. Before the merger, CapitaLand primarily held retail and office properties with limited industrial and logistics assets. Post-merger, the firm added approximately 100 industrial and logistics properties across Asia. The merger boosted CapitaLand's total holding in 2019 to 1,000 properties, across 240 cities, in more than 30 countries.


In Southeast Asia, CapitaLand is an active investor in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It has made significant real estate investments in Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia and has entered Thailand with its first real estate investment which Emerging Real Estate Digest has previously written about.


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CapitaLand has raised several funds targeting Southeast Asia real estate investments including:


  • CapitaLand Asia Retail Redeployment Fund

    • Target Size: S$800 million ($592 million)

    • Investors: Institutional investors

    • Sectors: Retail

    • Geographies: Singapore, Malaysia,

    • Vintage: 2017

  • CapitaLand Vietnam Hospitality Fund I

    • Target Size: S$200 million ($147 million)

    • Investors: International & regional institutional investors

    • Sectors: Hospitality (hotels, serviced residences)

    • Geographies: Vietnam

    • Vintage: 2018


  • CapitaLand Vietnam Hospitality Fund II

    • Target Size: S$400 million ($296 million)

    • Investors: International & regional institutional investors

    • Sectors: Hospitality (hotels, serviced residences)

    • Geographies: Vietnam

    • Vintage: 2022


  • CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust (listed REIT)

    • Investors: Public investors

    • Sectors: Retail

    • Geographies: Malaysia

    • Date Listed: 2011


  • CapitaLand Ascott Residence Asia Fund II 

    • Target Size: S$500 million ($370 million)

    • Investors: European & Asian institutional investors

    • Sectors: Serviced residences, co-living

    • Geographies: Southeast Asia

    • Vintage: 2023


  • CapitaLand SEA Logistics Fund

    • Target Size: S$800 million ($592 million)

    • JV Partners: Pruksa Holding

    • Sectors: Logistics

    • Geographies: Southeast Asia

    • Vintage: 2023

  • CapitaLand Wellness Fund 

    • Target Size: S$1 billion ($740 million)

    • Partners: Pruksa Holding

    • Sectors: Healthcare-related real estate

    • Geographies: Southeast Asia

    • Date Launched: 2023


(2) GLP


GLP is a leading global business building, owner, developer, and operator of logistics real estate, data centers, renewable energy, and related technologies. The firm operates across Asia, Europe, and the Americas.


The firm was founded by Ming Mei and Jeff Schwartz as a developer and operator of logistics real estate with operations in Japan and China. In 2010, it was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange as the largest ever real estate IPO globally.


In 2012, the firm entered Brazil through a $1.45 billion acquisition of a real estate platform. The investment was GLP's first foray into Latin America and involved the acquisition and development of 1.4 million square meters (i.e., 15.3 million square feet) of GLA across 20 mostly logistics properties. That same year it listed a $1.3 billion REIT in Japan on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE: 3281) which was the largest real estate IPO at the time in Japan.


In 2019, GLP announced a joint venture with SEA Logistics Partners ("SLP") focusing on development in Vietnam. A subsequent $1.1 billion fund was launched for that purpose called the GLP Vietnam Development Partners I fund with a 2021 vintage. Similar recent funds it has launched focused on Asia are the GLP China Logistics Fund V with a 2022 vintage, and GLP Japan Development Fund IV with a 2020 vintage.


In Southeast Asia, GLP is focused primarily on industrial developments in the major cities in Vietnam. Public statements indicate an interest in making future investments in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Its regional headquarters are in Singapore.


(3) ESR Cayman Limited


ESR Cayman Limited is rapidly establishing itself as a major player in Southeast Asia real estate and a leading real estate investment firm, particularly in the logistics investments and industrial sectors. Its global real estate AUM is roughly $34.3 billion, of which approximately $10.4 billion originates from Southeast Asia.


The firm was founded in 2011 in Hong Kong with an initial focus on logistics and industrial assets in Greater China. In 2017, ESR branched out into Vietnam making its first entry in Southeast Asia. One year later, in 2018, Thailand and Singapore joined their geographies of focus. 70% of the portfolio comprises Southeast Asia logistics and industrial, retail accounting for 20%, and the remaining 10% in office and other opportunistic opportunities and partnerships in the region. Warburg Pincus is a major investor in the funds, alongside other institutional investors including pension funds, insurance companies, and sovereign wealth funds


ESR Cayman Limited has raised several funds targeting Southeast Asia real estate investments including:


  • ESR Vietnam Logistics Fund I & II

    • Target Size:

  • Fund I: $260 million

  • Fund II: $400 million

    • Investors: Institutional investors, HNWIs

    • Sector: Logistics & Industrial

    • Geography: Vietnam

    • Vintage: 2018 & 2019

  • ARA Logos Fund I

    • Target Size: $568 million

    • Investors: Sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors, Warburg Pincus

    • Partners: JV with LOGOS Property

    • Sector: Logistics & Industrial

    • Geography: Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia

    • Vintage: 2020

  • ESR-LOGOS Vietnam Fund I

    • Target Size: $800 million

    • Investors: Similar to ARA Logos Fund I

    • Sector: Logistics & Industrial

    • Geography: Vietnam

    • Vintage: 2023


ESR is working to launch another ESR-LOGOS SE Asia Fund fund based on the success of the others. Capital raising is underway and the focus will be on acquiring, developing, and managing modern logistics facilities. The target size is $800 million with final closing anticipated sometime in 2025.



(4) Honorable Mentions:


  • Temasek Holdings (Mapletree): Singapore's sovereign wealth fund arm, Temasek, manages and holds $45.3 billion in Asia Pacific real estate through its subsidiary Mapletree, which invests in commercial, industrial, and logistics properties.


  • Blackstone: The American investment giant holds $42.9 billion in Asia Pacific real estate AUM, with a diversified portfolio across various sectors including logistics, offices, and residential.


  • Nuveen Real Estate: This American asset manager and real estate investment firm holds $35.8 billion in Asia Pacific real estate AUM, investing primarily in core and core-plus strategies across diversified property types.


  • Brookfield Asset Management: The Canadian alternative asset manager has $33.4 billion in Asia Pacific real estate AUM, with a presence across various sectors including office, industrial, and retail.


  • PGIM Real Estate: This American real estate investment management firm manages $33.2 billion in Asia Pacific real estate AUM, focusing on core and core-plus strategies across diversified property types.


  • UBS Asset Management: The Swiss financial giant rounds out the top 10 with $32.1 billion in Asia Pacific real estate AUM, investing across various sectors including office, residential, and industrial.

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