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TAIPEI, TAIWAN-In a deal that marks its first entry into the expanding Taiwan market, GE Real Estate has purchased a 12-story, 45,000-sf commercial building. The asset was secured for $20 million from Hocheng Corp., a leading sanitary ware manufacturer that opted to harvest the asset’s equity amidst a surge of cross-border capital.

“This acquisition reaffirms GE Real Estate’s commitment to the continuing expansion of our portfolio through investments in office buildings and other properties across the Asia Pacific region,” says GE Real Estate principal Michael Rii in a release announcing the purchase. Rii adds that the firm plans to enhance the value through a series of capital improvements and professional management applications. Known as the HCH Building, the prominent structure is situated in the Dunhua Business District in northern Taipei.

Beyond individual attributes of the HCH Building leading to that property becoming its initial purchase, GE considers Taiwan an attractive investment prospect going forward for a variety of reasons, explains Rii, including low interest rates, “overall optimism towards local business sentiments,” and a resilient economy long connected to the burgeoning global stage. “Taiwan poses attractive opportunities because of its growing property market in general and in particular a rapidly maturing REIT market,” says Rii. That could allow investment in existing REITs or establishment of new REIT funds by the firm, according to company officials.

As a unit of GE Corporate Financial Services, GE Real Estate will use the larger organization’s established relationships in Taiwan to hasten its own expansion in the country, says Rii. The firm’s extensive global experience elsewhere should also help, he maintains, with GE Real Estate already operating in 31 markets throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. GE Real Estate has more than $72 billion in those markets, some of it equity capital for acquisitions and development, plus fixed and floating rate mortgages available for purchase and recapitalization strategies. GE’s investments encompass 366 million sf total in more than 15,000 properties.

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