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China’s Sovereign Fund Bets On U.S. Real Estate With 16% Stake In New TPG REIT

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China’s sovereign wealth fund has grabbed a 16% stake in U.S. real estate lender TPG RE Finance, betting on foreign real estate at a time when Chinese regulators are cracking down on domestic money being spent on foreign acquisitions. 

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China Investment Corp., the second-largest government-owned investment fund in the world, owns $814B in assets. The fund reported in a recent filing that it grabbed a 15.5% stake in TPG through affiliate lender Flourish Investment Corp., Bloomberg reports

The sovereign fund has been ramping up its private equity and real estate investments, as exemplified by its $13.8B acquisition of European warehouse and logistics owner Logicor, which it bought from Blackstone Group in what is now the largest European property deal to date

CIC’s investments recorded a 6.2% return in 2016 and its acquisition of TPG will further expand its foothold in alternative investments. TPG has $73B assets under management, according to Bloomberg. The New York-based REIT originates and buys loans for commercial developments, including CMBS and bridge loans for office, hotel and apartment properties.

While the government-owned fund continues to strategically invest in foreign assets, Chinese regulators are tightening the screws on its biggest investment companies, honing in on the financial activity of four of its largest firms — Dalian Wanda, Fosun, HNA and Anbang. HNA and Anbang have slowed their foreign investment activity as a result of being under the microscope, temporarily tabling some mergers and acquisitions. Chinese regulators want to determine how much debt these companies have used to fund massive acquisition sprees to determine if they are overleveraged and pose a threat to the financial system.