SEB Asset Management sells shopping centre in Japan
SEB Asset Management has sold the AEON Mall Chiba NEW TOWN in Chiba, Japan, to a
Japanese company. Completed in 2007, the shopping centre was bought for SEB Asian Property
Fund, the Luxembourg-based special real estate fund, in 2009. The selling price was the
equivalent of approximately EUR 100 million, 12.6 per cent higher than the purchase price.
The AEON Mall Chiba NEW TOWN is leased to operator AEON Mall as the general tenant until
2027. It offers a combination of more than 130 shops, a cinema as well as fitness and leisure
facilities on almost 33,500 sqm of rental space. Chiba New Town is located in the immediate
vicinity of Tokyo, Japan’s capital city. The Chiba region gives the shopping centre a catchment
area with more than 400,000 inhabitants.
“Selling the shopping centre now is an ideal sale scenario for us,” says Choy-Soon Chua, the
managing director at SEB Asset Management responsible for real estate investment. “Over the
past year, transaction volumes in Japan have declined slightly overall, but the retail segment
performed the best. While overall transaction volumes decreased by around 4 per cent, the retail
segment saw an increase of roughly 53 per cent. We took advantage of this positive market
Measured in terms of retail sales, Japan is one of the largest consumer markets in Asia. Around
35 million people live in the greater Tokyo area alone. Nevertheless, the retail market
environment is faced with a number of structural and cyclical challenges. These include the
increase in the age and decrease in the size of the population, persistent deflation and high
government debt. Retail sales barely increased in 2012. Turbulence may also occur as a result of
the VAT increase planned for April 2014. However, central retail locations are expected to record
a stable performance thanks to the expansion of international retail companies.
“In spite of the challenging macroeconomic situation in Japan, we still consider the Japanese real
estate markets to be attractive thanks to their high transparency and liquidity levels – but
particularly the office and logistics markets,” adds Mr. Chua.
Source : Company