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Public-private real estate fund in works: sources

JIJI

The government could launch a new public-private fund aimed at encouraging investment in real estate, including condominiums and commercial facilities, sources said Saturday.

The size of the new fund is expected to total some ¥100 billion. For its part, the government plans to earmark tens of billions of yen for the fund under a supplementary budget planned for the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, the sources said.

The move comes as the domestic real estate market has remained sluggish since the global financial crisis deepened in the fall of 2008.

Through the new investment fund, the government hopes to contribute to the revitalization of core provincial cities throughout the country, where many small stores have been shuttered and buildings left vacant.

Although details of the overall plan have yet to be finalized, the new fund is expected to invest in projects to construct new office buildings, commercial facilities and condominiums, as well as to refurbish existing structures.

A firm commissioned to manage the fund will screen projects submitted for consideration, and will solicit extra contributions and loans for them on a case by case basis.

Many of the properties to be built or repaired through the fund will be sold to real estate investment firms, which will then pay dividends to stakeholders and repay the loans.