CBRE to expand into capital markets to tap China clients

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 4:01am

CBRE, the world's biggest property agent, is to expand into capital market advisory services in the Asia-Pacific region as mainland outbound investment becomes a major component of global capital flows.

"That's one of the main reasons we are getting into the new business line," said Rob Blain, chief executive and chairman of CBRE Asia Pacific.

Blain said potential clients were eyeing investments not only in the US but other global markets as well, and their targets were not confined to commercial properties. They were also looking at residential units, manufacturing companies and other kinds of businesses.

The new unit - CBRE Capital Advisors, Asia Pacific, which will be formed soon - will be responsible for helping clients source capital in the form of equity or debt, executing investment strategies and advising clients on private placements.

The Singapore-based unit will be headed by Nick Crockett, former head of Jones Lang LaSalle's Asia-Pacific corporate finance group.

Mainland companies are increasingly investing abroad.

According to a report by economic consultancy Rhodium Group and investment bank CICC, mainland outward foreign direct investment is projected to reach US$1 trillion to US$2 trillion between 2010 and 2020.

Another Rhodium report shows that in the first three quarters of this year, mainland firms invested a record US$6.3 billion in the US.

While energy and advanced manufacturing continue to land the most investment dollars, 2012 deal flow suggests that Chinese investors are increasingly interested in US service firms.

Apart from China, capital flow in the Asia-Pacific region in general continues to be strong.

The region's contribution to global investment turnover has doubled from 8.3 per cent in 2007 to 16.6 per cent in the 12 months to September, according to CBRE.