Morgan Stanley Real Estate has agreed to buy Investa, an Australian group, in a deal valued at A$6.6bn (US$5.5bn) including debt. Financial Times

The A$4.7bn cash bid for Australia’s largest listed manager of office buildings underlines the investment bank's intention to expand in the Asia-Pacific region.

Investa's residential and commercial holdings include landmark buildings in the business districts of Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s two largest cities.

Investa chairman Steve Crane said yesterday: 'The office assets are of high quality and they clearly are attractive to Morgan Stanley. There is probably a very strong period for office rents coming up, particularly in the Sydney market for the coming few years.'