Recent weeks have seen JP Morgan, Sniper Capital and UBS make moves targeting real estate investors looking outside the SAR for opportunities.

Hong Kong-based private equity firm Sniper Capital has launched a five-year $100 million Macau property fund that will target deeply undervalued non-gaming investments, likely to be a mix of retail, food & beverage and potentially some residential properties.

“A lot of money has gone into Macau’s casino, infrastructure and retail sector, but other pockets have been left behind,” says Tom Ashworth of Sniper Capital. “So there aren’t any entertainment areas up to Hong Kong’s standards.

“The new fund will seek to make the right acquisitions, which can be found at 90% discounts if you just go a little off the beaten track, and then bring in the right mix of tenants – so that we don’t have 10 Portuguese restaurants in a row,” he adds.

Macau Sniper Fund targets an annual IRR of 25% and has received initial commitments of $20 million from the firm’s existing investor base. Sniper itself has committed $5 million in capital and is aiming to close in the first quarter of 2011.

At present, the firm has assets under management of $300 million across a pair of funds, including its flagship Aim-listed Macau Property Opportunities Fund.

Sniper has also recently hired Lehman Brothers veteran Joyce Lo as head of corporate and investment strategy, who will be responsible for capital raising and investor relations. She used to be a vice-president in the bank’s real estate private equity business.

In news of other Hong Kong personnel moves, Tyler Goodwin has been re-hired by JP Morgan as a managing director. Having previously worked in the property unit of the bank’s principal investments group, he left in 2007 to start up his own private equity real estate investment fund called Urban Land Capital. That Hong Kong-based venture didn’t work out through the crisis, so he shut it down.

Goodwin rejoins JP Morgan on the third-party funds side. His job is to raise money for their global real asset funds, an activity that manages $47 billion across all types of physical and Reit investments in property, from core, core plus through to opportunistic. He is looking for Asian investors to put money into this global product.

Richard Johnson will also be handling capital raising for global real estate funds, having moved to UBS. He previously worked for Standard Chartered in Singapore. He will be based in Hong Kong, reporting to Andreas Mondovits in Zurich.