Norwich Union has launched a fund giving private investors the chance to buy into property in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Asia Pacific Property Fund aims to turn itself into the Norwich Property Trust, the UK’s largest private investor fund, for Asia.

Like the Norwich Property Trust, it will be managed by Morley, which is the UK asset management arm of Norwich Union’s parent company Aviva.

Mature first

The fund will buy office, retail and industrial property in Asia and Australasia as well as holding property shares and cash.

It is likely to pursue a strategy of first buying into more mature markets such as Japan, Singapore and Australia.

John Clougherty, managing director of retail investments at Norwich Union, said: ‘Asia-Pacific property provides a good opportunity for investors who want to diversify their property portfolios.

'It has a low correlation with other Asian asset classes such as equities and bonds, while returns from the region also have a relatively weak correlation to the UK commercial property markets.’

Robust returns

Nick Ridgewell, head of Asia real estate at Morley, said: ‘We expect the region’s property markets to deliver robust returns in the coming years. There is significant economic growth in the region and property markets will benefit from this.

'There are large, fast-growing economies, like mainland China and India, and other countries in the region – Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore – are benefiting from increased inter-regional trade.’