Asian outbound investment rose to US$83.4 billion in 2017, marking an increase of 36% y-o-y and setting a new annual record.

Among regions, EMEA saw a large increase in Asian capital, boosted by several big ticket transactions and portfolio deals. 

There were also strong cross-border capital flows within Asia as investors continued to diversify domestic market risk and seek opportunities in markets with better prospects.

While Chinese investors still comprise the largest source of capital, activity slowed significantly in H2 2017 following the introduction of new capital controls. In contrast, Singaporean and Hong Kong investors remained active in overseas markets.

Institutional investors (i.e. Sovereign Wealth Funds, pension funds and insurance firms) and property companies led buying activity, accounting for 65% of total cross-border investment turnover. Overall, investors remained focused on office properties, but many institutional investors shifted their focus to logistics facilities.

With new capital control measures taking effect in March 2018, Chinese investors are expected to remain selective and will concentrate on opportunities related the Belt & Road initiative.