Ayala backs new Asia real estate fund

ARCH Capital, a new fund manager in Hong Kong, has linked up with Ayala Land, a Filipino property developer, to raise a new real estate private equity fund with a $200 million target.

ARCH Capital, a joint venture that specializes in real estate private equity fund management, is raising $200 million to capture opportunities in key emerging Asian markets outside Japan.

The new manager plans to begin formal marketing efforts in the fourth quarter and expects to achieve a first close in 2007, the firm said in a statement.

Ayala Corporation, a diversified business group in Philippines, and Ayala Land, its real estate subsidiary that has been operating for over eight decades, are the sponsors for the debut fund. They are committed to invest up to a combined total of $75 million in the fund that will invest in markets such as China, India and Thailand.

ARCH Capital is a joint venture between Ayala Corp, Ayala Land and Great Arch, an entity set up by Richard Yue-Chuk. Yue will also be heading the fund management company.

Yue has over 17 years in Asian real estate during which he managed an investment portfolio of $6 billion. Prior to forming Arch, he was director of investment at AIG Global Real Estate for 7 years.

Ayala Land and an affiliate, Ayala International will help raise third-party capital and pursue investments. Ayala International has been investing in Asian real estate since 1995, in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia. To date, it has invested over $200 million in residential development, office and retail redevelopment and public company restructurings