KUALA LUMPUR: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), Malaysia's biggest fund manager, is planning to buy more prime commercial properties in major cities.
"We are also looking at other markets. We can't say where we are going to invest next as this could prop up prices but we will make an announcement when it is a done deal," said its chief executive officer Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman.
Hamad was speaking on the sidelines of the signing of memoranda of understanding between Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali Foundation (YTI), a foundation set up by PNB to promote tertiary and professional education, and two local universities to enhance academic excellence.
He was responding to a question of whether PNB is looking to buy more prime office space in London, where it has gone on a buying spree in the past year.
So far, the state-owned fund manager has sunk in more than RM5 billion there.
Its first investment in London was in December 2011 when it bought a 12-storey office space in Milton & Shire House on 1 Silk Street for STG350 million (RM1.72 billion) from American investor Beacon Capital.
In January, it bought Woolgate Exchange on 25 Basinghall Street, a nine-storey commercial office with a basement floor, for STG270 million from Irish development and investment company D2.
Two months later, PNB bought two more office buildings - 90 High Holborn and One Exchange Square - from German fund manager KanAm for STG550 million.
One Exchange Square is tenanted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a quasi-public organisation, while 90 High Holborn is the headquarters of law firm Olswang.
PNB's first foreign foray was back in August 2010 when it bought Santos Place in Brisbane, Australia, for A$290 million (RM916.4 million) from Nilson Properties.
The 37-storey building has 373,508 sq ft of lettable space with about two-thirds of that leased to Santos, an Australian oil and gas giant.
By Business Times