Brookfield Asset Mgmt looks to emerging markets

Fri Nov 8, 2013 4:19pm EST
 
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TORONTO Nov 8 (Reuters) - Brookfield Asset Management Inc is ramping up its investment focus on emerging markets such as Brazil, India, and China, as it expects a recent flight to capital from those countries to produce bargains, the company's chief executive said On Friday.

Speaking after the Canadian power, real estate and infrastructure investor reported third-quarter results on Friday, Chief Executive Bruce Flatt said emerging markets would likely be a focus for the next year or two for the company.

"It certainly not the popular strategy today. There's been a great deal of negative news from Brazil, India and China," he said.

"(But) we have found, based on our investment experience, that when capital becomes scarce in a sector of investment or a region of investment, it often produces opportunities to buy assets that you would not have otherwise available."

Flatt noted that Brookfield followed the same strategy when it loaded up on U.S. commercial real estate in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

More recently, Brookfield, which manages $184 billion in assets, has been going after depressed assets in Europe.

Brookfield said its funds from operations (FFO), a measure of cash flow for real estate management companies, rose to $1.2 billion, or $1.85 a share, from a year-earlier $223 million, or 30 cents a share, driven by sales of real estate assets.

In September, Brookfield said it would acquire the 49 percent of Brookfield Office Properties it does not already own for $5 billion in a deal to consolidate the companies' $45 billion in real estate assets.

Shares of Brookfield fell 42 Canadian cents to C$40.95 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.