FINLAND - Keva has acquired a shopping centre from NCC Property Development for SEK800m (€90m), with the Swedish developer agreeing to a forward funding structure.

The €31.5bn pension scheme for local government employees has agreed that NCC will be responsible for the leasing of the development in Hämeenlinna, around 100km north of Helsinki, for three years after completion.

Currently 47% leased, the company said it expected all units to be let by the end of 2014.

NCC president Joachim Hallengren said: "Through this divestment, NCC consolidates its leading position as a property developer in Finland, which is one of our most important markets and where we currently have six projects in progress."

He added that he was "gratified" that Keva, as a long-term owner, would take on the centre, with the scheme paying the SEK800m asking price in monthly instalments as construction on the development continued.

According to its most recent annual report, Keva invested €2.8bn in real estate, with the scheme "primarily" seeking exposure to the Finnish market through direct investments, while also considering overseas exposure through real estate funds.

At the end of December, its property portfolio offered the second-strongest returns with 5.9%, with only private equity outperforming the asset class.

However, preliminary figures for the first quarter of the year have seen a slump in returns, with property holdings only mustering 1.1% returns in the three months to March.