Grosvenor Land fund expands to US$80m

Richard Woo

Asian luxury property investment fund Grosvenor Land Property Fund has expanded to US$80 million by introducing new investors.

John So, chief executive of Grosvenor Land Asset Management, the manager of Grosvenor Land, said a Dutch pension fund and an Asian property company had joined the fund.

He said Hongkong Land and Grosvenor Estate Holdings' interests in the fund had been diluted to a combined 37.5 per cent, but they would continue their role in day-to-day management of the fund.

The fund was established by Hongkong Land and Grosvenor Estate, a British property giant, in late 1999 with US$30 million. It has been active in Hong Kong's luxury market since, with the latest purchase being three townhouses at Rosecliff in Tai Tam.

Mr So said that after introducing strategic investors to the fund, it also would bring in smaller investors with wider backgrounds.

He said the fund aimed to expand to between US$150 million and US$250 million. It planned to use 50 per cent of bank borrowings and target an internal rate of return at 20 per cent,.

About half of the US$80 million committed has been spent on property investments, the bulk of them in Hong Kong.

Grosvenor Land has bought a six-house project at 6-10 Peel Rise on The Peak for HK$207 million, Horizon Lodge in Chung Hom Kok for HK$115 million and Rosecliff in Tai Tam for HK$127 million.

Mr So said the fund had spent HK$20 million on a six-month renovation for the Peel Rise project. Two of the houses have been leased, with one in negotiation.

The fund would offer two 4,000 square foot houses for lease at monthly rentals of HK$160,000 to HK$190,000.

Mr So said supply was tight in the luxury market. Despite short-term economic gloom due to the slowing United States economy, he said the prospects looked quite good in the medium to long terms.

Grosvenor Estate, which is chaired by one of Britain's wealthiest landlords, the Duke of Westminster, took a 15 per cent stake in local medium-size developer Asia Standard International in 1999, marking its first foray into the SAR property sector.