UBS says it avoids Singapore, HK housing markets on risks of government curbs to tame prices

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - The threat of government curbs to tame prices makes Singapore and Hong Kong residential property unattractive, the regional head of UBS Group's real-estate investment arm said.

"We have no exposure in the Singapore residential market and we are very comfortable not having any exposure," Graham Mackie, head of real estate for Asia Pacific at UBS Asset Management, said in an interview. "Historically it's been very exposed to government policy intervention and that continues."

Instead, UBS is targeting investments in business parks and light industrial developments, he said. That's a deliberate strategy which aligns with government policy to develop a more service-oriented economy, Mackie said.

Similarly, UBS has no residential investments in Hong Kong but is open to opportunities in commercial property such as offices or retail.

"Government policies have been very, very severe in Hong Kong and it's just not a market where we see an opportunity right now," Mackie said.

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