ING Real Estate Select will launch the ING Real Estate Select Asia-Pacific Property Growth Fund in the first quarter of 2009. A fund of Asian property funds, it aims for a first close of $250 million with an ultimate target from global investors of $675 million.

The fund will invest in closed-end property funds. They will mainly comprise of opportunistic property funds, either country or sector specific. That is to say those of a niche type, rather than the big global property funds.

The new fund hopes to be able to find underlying funds that can obtain discounts on property purchases in todayÆs challenging markets.

Dick Popken, formerly of PGGM, is the portfolio manager of the new fund, and Nicholas Wong is the managing director with overall responsibility for the region in addition to fund raising and marketing of the new fund. In total, a team of six will be based in Asia to handle the new fund.

ôCurrently we are optimistic about opportunities in the retail and logistic property sectors,ö says Wong. ôWe would be underweight offices, and in residential be positive about second- and third-tier Chinese and Indian cities, though not first-tier, and not positive about Singapore residential given the large amount of supply coming on stream there.ö

The target IRR is 15% and the life of the fund is 7 to 10 years with minimum tranches of $5,000,000 (although a private bank could, for example, amalgamate a number of subscriptions from its clients as a bundle). ING Real Estate Select will facilitate secondary liquidity to fund investors on a best-effort basis. There is a management and acquisition fee and performance fee incorporating a hurdle rate, which are set at industry norm levels.