FINLAND - Suomen Pankki, the Bank of Finland Pension Fund, has awarded Aberdeen Property Investors a real estate mandate valued at approximately €10m.

The €460m pension fund has awarded the mandate to API's Aberdeen Property Fund Finland, which currently manages approximately €180m of assets since being established almost two years ago.

API Finland Oy was awarded the four-year contact on April 1 2008 over 12 other tender offers, and it is understood pension fund based its decision on a proposal which was most economically advantageous in terms of both qualitative criteria and total costs.

The successful API fund is a domestic vehicle, which invests primarily in real estate in areas and municipalities outside of the major cities in Finland, such asHelsinki, although it is allowed to invest a minor amount in the major cities.

Pertti Vanhanen, managing director of Aberdeen Property Investors in Finland, revealed despite being around only two years the fund returned 14.7% in the first nine months of business in 2006, and increased this to 29% in 2007.

Although from some perspectives it may be considered that there is more risk in investing outside of the major cities, Vanhanen argued because the company "acts locally" - through "very good representation" and five regional offices - the fund is "involved in many transactional opportunities and has a very good position".

The Bank of Finland pension fund revealed in March 2007 it was seeking an investment manager to handle its €25m indirect real estate portfolio, which included a 'conservative' investment strategy and allocation to Eurozone funds-of-funds only. (See earlier IPE story: Finland central bank issues real estate tender).