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Thai tycoon leads $100 million fund for Southeast Asia property

A member of Thailand’s richest family is partnering with a Hong Kong-based asset manager to invest in luxury real estate in Southeast Asia.

Chatchaval Jiaravanon, part of the billionaire family that owns conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, is leading a group of investors in CMAG Funds, the new investment pool managed by Wonder Capital Group. Together, with Thai real estate agency IFCG, they’re targeting high-end properties in the region, with plans to raise as much as $100 million, according to Gigi Chan, founder and chief executive officer of Wonder Capital.

“We truly believe that the Southeast Asia market is one of the most promising opportunities for global investors,” Ms Chan said in a statement.

CMAG’s first investment will be Cambodia’s tallest building, Mesong. CMAG will be a major shareholder in the 71-story mixed-use tower, a project of Wonder Capital’s development arm that’s expected to be completed by 2025.

Global real estate has taken a hit over the past year, in part due to interest rate hikes, which are keeping office towers empty and new buyers away. But Mr Chatchaval, who also owns Fortune Magazine, sees the new fund as a long-term opportunity in a market he’s familiar with.

“Whatever the interest rate is, the demand for high-end property will always be there,” Mr Chatchaval said in an interview by Zoom. “The high-end market is not only to provide for the local market, but also the international clients, so I am quite bullish on luxury properties in Southeast Asia.”

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