QIC Global Real Estate has paid $435.6 million for a 49 percent stake in eight U.S. malls in a joint venture with Forest City Enterprises, as QIC targets the retail market's recovery in the States.
Based in Australia, QIC has $10 billion worth of properties and hopes to profit from the increase in consumer confidence in the U.S., according to Bloomberg.
During the first quarter of 2013, the U.S. retail market reported a drop to 6.7 percent in retail property vacancies, according to data from Jones Lang LaSalle.
Retail rents increased 0.3 percent during the same period compared to the previous quarter, with increases expected in all U.S. markets this year, JLL reported.
"Our focus at the moment is on North America," Steven Leigh, managing director of QIC, told Bloomberg. "There are more buying opportunities in the U.S. than in Australia and the current pricing there is attractive. And we think there are reasonable prospects for income growth."
QIC will create its fifth property fund for U.S. investments, Bloomberg reports. QIC established an office in Los Angeles last year.
The joint venture is the first direct property investment in North America for QIC. The only other international property investment is in the Merry Hill shopping center in the U.K., the paper notes.
Retail properties make up 80 percent of the company's real estate investments, Mr. Leigh told Bloomberg.