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Taiwan: Life insurers cut investment in commercial properties

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Feb 2018

Taiwan Investment Management Life & Health Property & Casualty

Commercial property transactions in Taiwan rose only slightly in 2017, as a fall in investment by life insurers affected growth, says property management firm Savills.
   Ms Ting Mei-chen, a manager with Savills, said that life insurance companies — which used to be the major buyers of commercial properties for investment purposes due to their large amounts of cash on hand — registered a significant fall in purchases, totalling only NT$9 billion (US$304 million) in 2017, down sharply from NT$23.9 billion in 2016, according to a report by Central News Agency.
   Ms Ting said life insurers generally had not been able to find good large-sized investment targets capable of generating handsome returns, and their sentiment turned cautious.
   In the overall commercial property market, sales in 2017 largely reflected strong export performance by Taiwanese firms, which boosted demand for commercial property on the back of solid global demand. 
   Transactions in Taiwan of large commercial properties valued at no less than NT$300 million per deal totalled NT$69.1 billion in 2017, up by 4.8% from a year earlier, data compiled by Savills showed. The data does not include the transactions of land which were used for construction of offices, shops or factories, Savills said.
   Nonetheless, the life insurance division of Chunghwa Post spent NT$6.42 billion to acquire a commercial building located in Taipei’s Neihu District, the largest single transaction in Taiwan in 2017, Ms Ting said. A 
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