Investors ‘looked up the food chain’ but now eyeing smaller retail_AFR

Investors ‘looked up the food chain’ but now eyeing smaller retail

Ingrid Fuary-Wagner
Australian Financial Review
The mystery group propping up a new $300 million fund targeting investment in Australian neighbourhood shopping centres has been revealed as Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, as the smaller end of the retail sector wins increasing interest from institutional investors in the wake of COVID-19.A number of market sources said GIC was behind the “daily needs” fund recently launched by one of Perth’s biggest landlords, ASX-listed property fund manager Primewest. Primewest would not comment on its capital partner.

Primewest bought Spring Farm Shopping Centre sells for $34.75 million. 

GIC has been very active in Australia having made significant investments in the office and industrial market. Its decision to invest in neighbourhood shopping centres follows its attempts earlier this year to offload its stake in one of Australia’s best-known shopping destinations: the Myer Melbourne store in the heart of the Bourke Street mall.

The pandemic has shone a light on the resilience of non-discretionary shopping centres as an asset class while at the other end of the spectrum, larger shopping centres, as well as offices, have come under pressure.

A recent note by Macquarie analysts shows footfall in neighbourhood and sub-regional assets had not deteriorated as much as more destinational assets, particularly CBD malls that had been impacted by tourism and the shutdown of many offices.