EPF looking at property investments in UK and Australia

LONDON (Sept 10): The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is looking at investment opportunities in properties in the UK and Australia worth £400 million (RM1.99 billion) to £500 million in the next two years.

CEO Tan Sri Azlan Zainol said the fund has to-date invested £1 billion in seven buildings in the UK.

"We're also looking at investment opportunities in Europe, but we're more comfortable with the United Kingdom because the laws are similar to Malaysia's.

"Australia also has a similar legal structure to ours," he told Malaysian journalists on the sidelines of the Battersea Power Station project familiarisation event.

On the EPF's investments in properties in Australia, Azlan said the three properties are office space — one was a direct investment while the other two were through investments in funds.

"Over the last two to three years, we've been investing overseas," he said, adding that 23% of the EPF's funds have been approved for investment overseas.

"So far, we've invested 12%. We're looking for good buildings and returns in England and Australia," he said.

On the investment in the Battersea Power Station project, in which the EPF has a 20% stake via special purpose vehicle Battersea Project Holding Company Ltd, Azlan said the provident fund is a passive investor and leaves it to the other two partners — Sime Darby Bhd and S P Setia Bhd — to drive the project.

On the expected returns from the iconic riverside project in central London, Azlan said: "In any property development project, we expect beyond 10% per annum."

"I would like to see this project completed in nine to 10 years," he said.

"Construction of the Battersea Power Station project is to begin now as the sale of the site to a consortium comprising Sime Darby, S P Setia and EPF has been completed." — Bernama

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