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SEOUL-Deka Immobilien has acquired the Seoul Securities Building, a fully leased 435,000-sf office and retail building in the eastern part of Yeouido, one of the city’s three main districts. The affiliate of the Frankfurt-based German Savings Banks Financial Group paid the equivalent of $83.6 million for the class A property. The seller was the securities trading group Seoul Securities. The property is Deka’s first acquisition in South Korea, as the property market there was not opened to foreign investors until the late 1990s. The property will be part of the Deka-ImmobilienGlobal. Including this latest acquisition, Asia-Pacific properties comprise 23.5% of the open-end property fund. Seoul, a metropolis of some 10 million people, has some 60 million sf of class A office space. The office property market in Yeouido reportedly has had stable rental growth and very low vacancy rates. In 2003, the vacancy rate was 3.9%. This year, the rate is expected to hold steady at around 4% and then fall in 2005 to 3%. Along with China, South Korea is one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies and this trend is expected to continue in the years ahead. DekaBank’s economics department anticipates that South Korea’s gross domestic product will grow by 5.3% this year and by 4.9% in 2005. Deka Immobilien is Germany’s largest provider of open-ended property funds. It manages total assets of around euro 19 billion in three mutual funds and eight property funds for institutional investors. These funds are invested in 353 properties in 18 countries on four continents. A source at DekaBank tells GlobeSt.com that Deka-ImmobilienGlobal is the first of Deka Immobilien’s funds to apply a predominantly international investment strategy. Deka says the principal advantage of this globally oriented fund is that it invests anticyclically in different property markets around the world to take advantage of additional opportunities to optimize its value. Looking ahead, the company says it will be pursuing its international investment strategy even more vigorously.

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