THAILAND – Krung Thai Asset Management (KTAM) is setting its sights on being Thailand’s leading property fund, after increasing their acquired assets to US$11.3 billion.

Bangkok Post reported that the fund’s assets received a boost of 81.8 percent in 2012 which is twice that of 2011’s growth rate.

According to property consultancy DTZ, interest in Thai real estate investment has soared due to public listings of major property funds and a number of high profile acquisitions, especially in the hotel and office sectors.

55 percent of Thai real estate investments this year came from either real estate funds or public funds for public offerings (PFPOs).

The Tesco Lotus Retail Growth Freehold and Leasehold (TLRGFL) fund boosted investment activity in 2012. This $594-million fund purchased Tesco Lotus shopping malls strategically located at prime locations in Thailand.

Other notable real estate acquisitions included three serviced residences for $106 million with the listed Land and Houses Freehold and Leasehold Fund (LHFLF).

In addition, the Quality Houses Hotel and Residence Freehold and Leasehold Property Fund (QHHR) purchased three Centre Point serviced apartments for $107 million.

KTAM is eyeing further growth in the Thai real estate sector. Chief Executive Officer Somchai Boonnamsiri cited the hugely positive investment climate as the reason for expansion and revealed plans to increase acquired assets by another 20 percent in the next year.

The Bangkok Post reported that Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is planning to raise funds under the management of KTAM.

KTAM is also in talks to diversify their business into new markets such as Mexico, Brazil and parts of  Europe.

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