The Abu Dhabi Investment Council and the Goodman Group will invest about US$1 billion in logistics warehouses across Japan including Tokyo Bay, above. Tomohiro Ohsumi / Bloomberg News
The Abu Dhabi Investment Council and the Goodman Group will invest about US$1 billion in logistics warehouses across Japan including Tokyo Bay, above. Tomohiro Ohsumi / Bloomberg News

Abu Dhabi and Australia sign $1bn deal

The Abu Dhabi Investment Council (Adic) has teamed up with one of the largest listed property companies in Australia to invest about US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) in logistics warehouses across Japan.

In yet another sign of the increasing relations between Australia and Arabian Gulf entities, Adic and the Goodman Group have established the Japan Development Partnership, a 50/50 joint venture with a combined equity of $500 million.

Given bank financing options, the partnership expects to spend an initial $1bn to develop logistics facilities in Japan and will launch by investing in three development projects in the "key logistics markets" of Tokyo Bay and Osaka.

"[The] announcement further demonstrates our successful capital partnering approach with major global investor groups and underscores our strategy of matching third-party capital with our growing development pipeline," said Greg Goodman, the chief executive of the Goodman Group.

"The new development partnership provides us with significant capacity to accelerate our expansion plans in Japan in a prudent and measured manner."

The investment council, an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi Government, was not available to comment on the partnership yesterday.

Relations between the UAE and Australia have been growing in recent weeks after Emirates Airline and Qantas, the Australian flag carrier, signed a 10-year alliance, while Etihad Airways upped its stake in Virgin Australia to 10 per cent.

The Australia Gulf Council (AGC) has also signed a spate of new partnership agreements this year.

It signed deals with the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and Dubai FDI, the foreign investment office of DED; the Dubai International Financial Centre and The Links Group, a company that helps companies start up in the UAE.

The agreements have been put in place to help promote and facilitate trade, investment and other business opportunities between the UAE and Australia.

According to the AGC, the GCC region represents one of Australia's top export markets worth A$8.3bn (Dh31.66bn) in 2010.

The partnership between Adic and Goodman plans to develop a total 250,000 square metres of gross-leasable warehouse space.

In its latest report on the industrial market in Japan, CBRE, a property broker, indicated an improving sentiment in the logistics sector.

It said the average vacancy rate for large, multi-tenant warehouses and logistics facilities in the Tokyo metropolitan area was 3.6 per cent at the end of June, 1.6 points lower than that of December.

"A buoyant market environment will likely continue for the leasing market for logistics properties in the [Tokyo Metropolitan Area] over the near term supported by solid demand from major occupiers," the report said.

Moreover, exports from Japan recorded 4.8 per cent growth in the second quarter of this year, compared with the previous year, having declined 1.6 per cent and 5.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year and the fourth quarter of last year, respectively.

Goodman Group is a property conglomerate listed on the Australian Securities Exchange with operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe including the United Kingdom, and North America.

It also announced it had closed the first stage of equity-raising for the Goodman Japan Core Fund, an investment fund, with three global institutional investors, increasing equity commitments from outside the company to more than $100m.

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