Investors to scope Taiwan

Investors have been given an entry into the Taiwan market after the passing of a law that agents say will open the door to $450 billion of capital.

Investors have been given an entry into the Taiwan market after the passing of a law that agents say will open the door to $450 billion of capital.

However, strict controls will limit the flood of investment in the short term, according to CBRE research.

The firm said Taiwanese insurers' real estate investment had grown 13 per cent a year in the past six years to a total of $US19.8 billion ($20.4 billion), and since 2006 $US9 billion of real estate acquisitions had been made. However, restrictions on investing overseas meant all these purchases were made onshore.

The country is seen as one of the last to be closed to outside investors and, conversely, has disallowed Taiwanese to buy outside of the country.

This is set to change with the announcement by the Taiwanese Insurance Bureau that overseas investments would be permitted, subject to criteria. As a result, domestic insurance firms will launch forays into the global investment market as insurers look to diversify real estate portfolios geographically and seek improved returns on investments.

CBRE senior director of international investments Richard Butler said Australia was expected to be on the radar of Taiwanese investors also, despite some ongoing restrictions and the fact that Australia was not on the approved list of countries for offshore investment.

Knight Frank managing director of capital transactions Australia James Parry said the rise of Asian investors - including Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia - would be boosted by Taiwan's inclusion.