Singapore to buy Westin Hotel Tokyo from Morgan Stanley

TOKYO, Feb 3, 2008 (AFP) – The Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) has agreed to buy the Westin Tokyo luxury hotel for 77 billion yen (723 million dollars) from Morgan Stanley, a newspaper said Sunday. Morgan Stanley purchased the Westin Tokyo for about 50 billion yen from Japanese brewer Sapporo Holdings Ltd in 2004. The parties have reached a basic accord on the purchase of the land and the building located in Tokyo’s high-end residential and commercial district of Ebisu, the Nikkei business daily said.

They plan to complete the deal by late February, the newspaper said.

GIC will likely have the hotel continue its current operations and aim to increase the asset’s value by making it a long-term investment.

The purchase indicated that Japan’s real estate market is relatively attractive though other ones around the world are suffering from the US mortgage crisis, Nikkei said.

GIC is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, with more than 200 billion dollars in assets under management, the report said.

In December and January, GIC made large investments in UBS AG of Switzerland and Citigroup Inc of the United States. Last year, it acquired Hawks Town, a commercial comp