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SAO PAULO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) plans to invest about 1 billion reais ($396 million) in commercial property in Brazil, a few months after the Toronto-based pension fund opened an office in São Paulo.
In a statement released late on Monday, CPPIB said the investments include the purchase of warehouses, land and stakes in development projects in the logistics and retailing industries, adding to the fund's portfolio of more than 100 properties in Latin America's largest economy.
The move brings CPPIB's real estate commitments in Brazil to over $1.8 billion. Since 2009, CPPIB has bought real estate in Brazil to profit from rising demand for corporate and distribution facilities.
The Canadian giant, one of the world's biggest pension funds with more than $212 billion in assets under management, opened an office in Brazil in February to gain on-the-ground presence and business connections before tapping complex, sizeable investment opportunities. CPPIB's São Paulo office focuses primarily on investments in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
"Brazil remains a key market for CPPIB over the long term and we will continue to seek attractive investment opportunities through our existing partnerships with top-tier local partners while we continue to build our local presence in Sao Paulo," Peter Ballon, head of CPPIB's real estate investment in the Americas, said in the statement.
CPPIB will pay 507 million reais for 30 percent in a joint venture with Singapore's Global Logistic Properties Ltd. , the world's No. 2 owner of industrial properties, to run 32 logistics properties in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the statement added.
Another 231 million reais were committed to GLP Brazil Development Partners I, a real estate investment vehicle in which Global Logistic Properties has a 40 percent stake and CPPIB a 39.6 percent stake.
CPPIB also pledged to spend 159 million reais to buy a 25 percent stake in a São Paulo logistics project alongside Cyrela Commercial Properties SA.
The fund also paid 100 million reais for a 33.3 percent stake in the Santana Parque Shopping mall, which is jointly run by partner Aliansce Shopping Centers SA, the statement added. CPPIB has a 27.6 percent in Aliansce, a shopping mall operator.
In a separate statement, the pension fund announced that Rodolfo Spielmann was named general director and leader of CPPIB's operations in Latin America. Spielmann, a former Deutsche Bank AG banker and a Bain & Co executive in Brazil for the past 14 years, started at the fund on Oct. 20.
CPPIB has committed $5.6 billion to investments in Latin America.
$1 = 1.1226 Canadian dollar Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Mark Potter