FINLAND - Nordea Life Assurance Finland, Varma Mutual Pension Insurance and Valtion Eläkerahasto (VER) , the Finnish State Pension Fund, have invested in four airport properties in Finland through their NV Property Fund joint venture.

Finnair Group has entered into a sale-and-leaseback arrangement with NV, and a number of the airline company's subsidiaries will continue to occupy the buildings, which have a total lettable area of 60,000 square metres.

NV acquired the assets for €77m and brings its total assets under management to more than €350m.

Kari Louhenkilpi, managing director of the NV fund and property manager at Nordea Life Assurance, said the long-term target for the fund was to manage approximately €1bn in real estate assets.

"Properties with long net lease agreements represent the general focus of our fund," he said.

NV is continuing to look for further opportunities with a minimum investment size of €20m and Louhenkilpi expects to complete some more deals before the end of 2009.

The real estate market in Finland has improved since the end of 2008, Louhenkilpi said, because bank financing is now available again.

"That is why I am optimistic the market will now go up slightly," he said.

The NV Property Fund is co-owned by Nordea Life Assurance and Varma Mutual Pension Insurance, which both have a 45% stake in the vehicle, while the State Pension Fund owns the remaining 10%.

Louhenkilpi said Nordea Life Assurance is also looking to make further real estate investments in Finland in addition to the acquisitions made by NV.