CANADA - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has invested €250m of equity in a Turkish retail fund.

The Canadian pension fund worth C$117.4bn (€67.8bn) has make the first founding investment in Multi Corporation's Multi Retail Turkey Fund, as part of a long-term investment plan to tap into developing European markets.

Graeme Eadie, senior vice-president of Real Estate Investments at CPPIB, said: "This investment is a unique opportunity to make a long-term investment in one of the most promising developing markets in Europe."

Multi Corporation, a major European retail developer, announced it closed the fund this week with an estimated value upon completion of €3.4bn.

The fund has 21 shopping centres completed, under construction or planned throughout Turkey and focuses on downtown locations in cities covering 70% of the Turkish population. Five shopping centres are open and fully leased and eight others are under construction.

"The growth of the Turkish market both in terms of the demographic and the middle class is growing and the need for retail as a result of that growth within this emerging market has been a strong one," said a spokesperson for the CPPIB.

"As an emerging market Turkey is one of the top tier emerging markets. Its getting closer and closer to becoming a developed market and so the opportunities there are quite good and quite sound for the long-term," he added.

The Fund has created Turkey's largest portfolio of retail real estate assets and includes the Forum Bakirkoy, Forum TEM and the 178,000 sq m Forum Istanbul, which is due to open in mid 2009 and will be the third-largest shopping centre in Europe.

Multi Corporation is finalising negotiations with the fund's second funding investor to close before the end of the year and may look for additional investors, although it intends to retain majority ownership.

The CPPIB had $7.3bn (€5.1bn) invested in real estate assets to 20 September 2008.

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