Mirae Assset Buys Federal Reserve Building in Washington

Mirae Asset is buying a building in Washington D.C for US$440 million that houses the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. The building, just a three-minute drive from the White House, is also occupied by KPMG and Bank of America.

U.S. property magazine Real Estate on Tuesday said Mirae Asset has been chosen as the preferred bidder for the building, which is owned by Sommerset Partners. It is expected that the firm will sign the contract at the end of this month.

The 12-story building was constructed in 1972 and remodeled in 2010. It apparently charges the highest rents in central Washington.

According to market sources, half of the purchase price will be borrowed in the U.S. at low interest, and the firm expects six percent annual profits from rent.

Mirae Asset is aggressively buying up commercial real estate abroad. It bought a high-rise office building in Shanghai in 2006 for W260 billion and another in São Paulo, Brazil for W540 billion (US$1=W1,013). It also bought buildings in Chicago, Sydney and other parts of the world.

Out of its W60 trillion in assets, overseas real estate and infrastructure account for a third.

"Amid low global interest rates, the firm believes real estate to be a stable source of revenues," an industry insider said.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 10, 2014 12:30 KST