Lippo eyesUS real estate amid signs of recovery
BEIJING: Lippo Group, an Asian investor of property and banks founded by Indonesian tycoon Mochtar Riady, is seeking real estate acquisitions in the United States, encouraged by signs of recovery in the world's biggest economy.
"We can consider anything as long as it's in property," Riady, 84, said in an interview in Dalian, China. "We see the US economy improving, so that's where our focus will be."
Lippo joins the likes of Wang Jianlin, China's richest man, in hunting for US property assets. Announced property deals in the US have totalled US$49 billion (RM161 billion) this year, compared with US$27 billion in the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The US Federal Reserve is meeting this week and is expected to taper its monthly bond purchases to US$75 billion from the current US$85 billion pace, according to the median estimate of 34 economists surveyed recently.
Riady said the rupiah's decline this year will not affect its acquisition plans because the overseas deals will be handled by its Singapore company. OUE Ltd, previously known as Overseas Union Enterprise, is helmed by his son, Stephen.
The expansion in the US comes as the Indonesian rupiah fell about 16 per cent this year, the most among Asia's currencies.
OUE said in August last year it is seeking deals to almost double its assets to US$7.9 billion in as early as three years. The Singapore company bought the US Bank Tower in Los Angeles earlier this year for US$367.5 million. Riady said the purchase of California's tallest building is the start of the company's plan to expand in the US. Bloomberg