Merrill Lynch Plans $3B Asian Property Fund

Merrill Lynch has announced that it will target the Pacific Rim in a new fund that will be valued at an estimated $2.5 billion to $3 billion. According to an April 13 article by Reuters, the investment banking concern plans to target a range of commercial real estate properties in Australia, India, Japan and other areas with the fund.  Damian Chunilal, head of Pacific Rim origination for Merrill Lynch, revealed the plans for raising multi-billion fund to Reuters at the Boao Forum for Asia that was held in the Chinese province of Hanian two days ago. Given the current state of the lending market and the United States, many investors are finding Asia very appealing. According to a January 2008 report by real estate investment firm Cushman & Wakefield, Asia has good fundamentals due to account surpluses in most countries, and the freedom to take on fiscal policies that would boost domestic demand when necessary.