Super fund grows US real estate assets

A public sector superannuation fund managing around $95 billion in retirement savings expanded its US property portfolio, adding residential and office tower complexes in Washington and Virginia.

QSuper has closed two property deals in the US, acquiring a two-tower office complex in Bellevue, Washington and a twin-tower apartment building in Falls Church, Virginia.

The deals take QSuper's global real estate exposure to more than 7%, in a move designed to ensure the fund remains diversified.

"Our approach to investment is to achieve diversification because that's the safest approach to producing strong, long term returns for our members," QSuper head of funds management Elizabeth Kumaru said.

She added the fund continues to be attracted to US property occupied by "prime tenants with secure rental streams".

The Bellevue office complex sits 17 kilometres from Seattle and is fully leased to Microsoft. It was built in 2009 as part of a mixed-use development including luxury retail and apartments, and will soon welcome a new light rail station adjoined to the building, linking it with Seattle and Microsoft's Redmond headquarters.

The fund's new Falls Church twin-tower apartment complex contains more than 900 apartments and is close to fully occupied. According to Kumaru, the likelihood of Amazon moving its new headquarters to Virginia would see the state's residential market heat up.

The acquisitions come as QSuper continues to probe the possibility of a merger with fellow Queensland fund Sunsuper. The potential tie-up between the two funds could see a new mega-fund emerge with around $167 billion in retirement savings, knocking AustralianSuper from its perch as the nation's largest fund.

Read more: QSuperMicrosoftAmazonAustralianSuperElizabeth KumaruSunsuper
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