Sweden’s biggest occupational pension provider Alecta has invested in Värmdö shopping centre, buying the Swedish retail asset from its joint owners Rockspring and Vencom Property Partners for SEK421m (€44.3m).

The retail centre, which is the main shopping centre in the municipality of Värmdö, located in Stockholm county, has around 50 shops, and the deal took effect on July 8 this year, according to Vencom Property Partners.

As part of the deal, Vencom said it will continue to be responsible for developing the shopping centre as well as managing it.

John Gustavsson, chairman of Vencom, said: “We have worked with Rockspring over the years developing Värmdö shopping centre, and so the centre has improved its market position and developed a wider range and positive retail sales performance.”

Gustavsson said Vencom looked forward to taking the development of the shopping centre on to its next phase, in its new partnership with Alecta.

In April, Alecta’s CIO Per Frennberg said the pensions firm was exiting all its directly-held international property, planning to close its offices in the UK and US and sell a portfolio of 48 real estate assets in the two countries.

It has appointed property agency JLL to market the portfolio.

The SEK730bn pensions provider has around 8.5% of total assets allocated to property.

Some 75% of its property portfolio is invested in directly-owned properties, managed by local in-house staff in each market, and the remaining 25% is invested via indirect vehicles.

In the notes to its interim report for January to June, released today, Alecta said it planned to sell all directly owned foreign properties during the course of 2016.

The portfolio consists of office, residential, commercial and industrial properties, it said.

The total value of these assets held for sale amounted to SEK19.6bn, it estimated.

But the pensions provider noted there were uncertainties surrounding estimates of the real estate’s value. 

“Currently the UK market is marked by great uncertainty, after it became clear that the people voted to leave the EU,” Alecta said in the report.

In the report, announced that its real estate investments had generated a 7.8% return, down from 13.3% in the same period last year.