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SAO PAULO, July 13 (Reuters) - GIC Pte Ltd, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, agreed on Monday to pay 132.4 million reais ($42 million) for a minority stake in a shopping mall controlled by Brazil's Aliansce Shopping Centers SA, the latest step in the fund's push into Latin America's largest economy.
Under terms of the deal, GIC took a 35 percent stake in Via Parque Shopping, a mall located in Rio de Janeiro's exclusive Barra da Tijuca area, according to a statement. The mall, which has 57,000 square meters (611,400 square feet) of shopping area, underwent massive renovation work between 2013 and 2014, the statement added.
"This acquisition reflects GIC's confidence in the long term growth prospects for Brazil's retail industry as well as the allure of Via Parque Shopping as a retailing asset," the statement added.
GIC, which manages over $310 billion in assets for the Singaporean government, has embraced Brazil as a destination for new investment in spite of the economy's growing imbalances and a looming recession. The rationale behind GIC's push into Brazil stems from the emergence of a middle class in the country that is demanding more healthcare, education and technology services.
This year, GIC agreed to buy a stake in Rede D'Or São Luioz SA, Brazil's largest hospital chain, following investments in education company Abril Educação SA and technology firm Linx SA.
Aliansce is Brazil's No. 2 mall operator.
$1 = 3.1318 Brazilian reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Bernard Orr