KTCU to have record as­sets abroad

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Korean Teach­ers' Credit Union, with about $19 bil­lion in as­sets, will boost real es­tate and other alternative in­vest­ments abroad to a record this year to ben­e­fit from a U.S. eco­nomic re­cov­ery and lower prices in Europe.

The credit union, also known as KTCU, is in talks to in­vest in World­wide Plaza in New York as part of a group that in­cludes other Korean in­vestors, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Kim Junggi said on March 21. KTCU plans to pro­vide about 100 bil­lion won ($90 mil­lion) to the deal of the U.S. prop­erty that may be val­ued at more than $1 bil­lion, he said, adding that talks will prob­a­bly be com­pleted by the end of April.

State funds from Asia, in­clud­ing the Na­tional Pen­sion Ser­vice of Korea, are boost­ing their pro­por­tion of in­vest­ments in real es­tate and look­ing overseas for higher yields amid slower growth in the re­gion. Prices of U.S. com­mer­cial prop­erty are ex­pected to climb in the next six months, ex­tend­ing a re­bound that has sent val­ues close to lev­els reached at the mar­ket's peak in 2007, ac­cord­ing to Green Street Ad­vi­sors Inc.

"We're see­ing green shoots in the U.S. econ­omy, which will fare bet­ter next year," Kim, 57, said in an in­ter­view in Seoul af­ter he vis­ited New York ear­lier this month to dis­cuss the World­wide Plaza deal. " We're op­ti­mistic about the U.S. real es­tate mar­ket. With the lim­ited sup­ply in prime of­fices in Man­hat­tan, the in­vest­ment will give us quite sta­ble cash flow."

The 42- year- old wel­fare agency for about 620,000 teach­ers and school em­ploy­ees had 20.7 tril­lion won ($19 bil­lion) in to­tal as­sets as of De­cem­ber and pre­dicts they will in­crease to about 30 tril­lion won by 2017.

KTCU, based in Seoul, will spend about 360 bil­lion won this year on alternative as­sets overseas, in­clud­ing prop­er­ties, in­fra­struc­ture and re­new­able en­ergy projects. "There is a fund­ing gap in Europe due to the re­gion's sov­er­eign debt cri­sis and it pro­vides more op­por­tu­ni­ties for Asian in­vestors like us," said Kim, who added that KTCU is look­ing at sev­eral Lon­don of­fice as­sets he didn't iden­tify.

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