Malaysia's second-largest pension fund is planning a £270 million ($403 million) sale of an office building in central London, responding to a government call to repatriate funds to prop up the country's ailing stock and currency markets.
Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan), which has about 120 billion ringgit ($28 billion) of assets, is finalizing an agreement to sell an office building at 88 Wood St. in the City of London that it bought in 2013 for £215 million, according to fund CEO Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad.
“We are selling the property because we stand to benefit from real estate and foreign-currency gains,” Mr. Wan Kamaruzaman said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur earlier this week. “It's also in line with the government call to repatriate gains back to invest in the domestic market.”
KWAP, as the state-owned fund is known, expects to be able to repatriate the funds back to Malaysia by the end of the first quarter to invest in local markets, Mr. Wan Kamaruzaman said.
Malaysia's stock market and the ringgit have been hurt this year by investor worries about a political furor over Prime Minister Najib Razak's dealings with the state-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd, and by concerns about the effect of higher U.S. interest rates on Malaysia and other emerging markets.
In response, the government asked state organizations in August to look for ways to sell overseas assets and repatriate the proceeds. Mr. Najib said last month that government-linked entities plan to bring home assets worth a total 627 million ringgit during 2015.