Japanese billionaire Akira Mori came to drop $1.2 billion on international real estate and chew bubblegum, and he’s all out of bubblegum.

Encouraged by the increasing power of Japan’s currency, the 76-year-old owner of real estate holding firm Mori Trust Co. is planning to spend 100 billion yen on office towers and energy-efficient developments in world-class metropolises such as New York, London and Tokyo. This would be Mori’s first investment on a grand scale since the end of Japan’s real estate boom in 2008.

“This is the perfect timing to invest,” Mori said in a interview in Tokyo, Bloomberg reported. “We have continued to construct new buildings, but for the acquisition of buildings, our plan would be the first since Lehman went bankrupt.”

The yen has strengthened 35 percent against the dollar in the last five years; it currently trades at about 81.90 yen to the dollar in Tokyo. Mori Trust manages 67 buildings in Japan and netted 16 billion yen in profits for the year ending in March 31.

The company is looking for resilient properties that can maintain value during market downtowns. “Property in a desirable location is good because it tends to be the last to drop in value when the market is bad,” Mori told Bloomberg in reference to New York real estate. “Cheap properties tend to be the first to decline and last to recover.”

Developments featured in this article

More Like This

Facebook Chatter