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Ascott and Qatar Investment Authority serviced residence global fund has acquired its first properties in Paris and Tokyo

The Ascott Limited and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) have made their first joint purchase, acquiring two properties in Paris and Tokyo for over £90m. The acquisition of the Citadines Suites Champs-Élysées Paris and Somerset Shinagawa Tokyo will bring the number of Ascott units globally to over 43,000 in 277 properties in 95 cities.

Set up in July 2015, the £386m serviced residence global fund is Ascott’s largest private equity fund. The fund invests in serviced residences and rental housing properties, with an initial focus on Asia Pacific and Europe.  

Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s chief executive officer, said: “Ascott serviced residence global fund’s maiden acquisitions are quality assets in key gateway cities where demand for serviced residences by expatriates and travellers remains strong. As we gear up to achieve Ascott’s expansion target of 80,000 units worldwide by 2020, the serviced residence global fund provides the financial boost to support our acquisitions and growth.”  

The 70-unit Citadines Suites Champs-Elysees Paris, opening in 2018, was built by renowned cognac distillers the Hennessey family and is Ascott’s third luxury serviced residence in the city. The property, which will see a further £21m investment (€30m), is located close to the luxury fashion houses and famous leisure attractions such as the Arc de Triomphe, Grand and Petit Palais as well as embassies and international companies.  

Mr Lee Chee Koon said: “Citadines Suites Champs-Elysees Paris is a rare gem in the epicentre of the world’s most popular tourist destination. Paris is not only a must-see for tourists; it’s also Europe’s second most attractive city for foreign investors. Demand for accommodation is growing faster than supply as tourist arrivals in Greater Paris rose by 11.7% to 22.4 million between 2003 and 2014 while room supply increased by only 5.3%.  Deepening Ascott’s presence in Paris will enable us to better cater to the strong demand and build economies of scale in our operations. 
 Japan is an equally attractive destination for corporate and leisure travellers given the weak Japanese yen, eased visa requirements and proliferation of low-cost carriers, coupled with the implementation of pro-business policies and designation of special economic zones. In the past two years, Japan saw record-breaking visitor arrivals, an uptrend that is set to continue. Somerset Shinagawa Tokyo is in close proximity to a major transport hub, well poised to meet the growing long-stay accommodation and demand.”  

The 50-unit Somerset Shinagawa Tokyo is an operating serviced residence in the high-end residential district of Takanawa, an area popular with senior management executives from multinationals. The area has undergone redevelopment in recent years and is now an international business hub, home to corporations such as Sony and Microsoft.  

Mr Lee added: “Ascott will continue to build scale by working with strong capital partners and we will seek investment opportunities in gateway cities. This year, we have added more than 6,000 serviced residence units to our portfolio with over 30 management contracts. Besides investments and management contracts, we will also seek more strategic alliances and franchises to expand Ascott’s presence globally.”

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