FINLAND/PORTGUAL - Finnish investors, including the €24.3bn Local Government Pensions Institution and pension insurer Ilmarinen, are among the reference investors in a Portuguese shopping centre fund.

The two, with funds managed by Schroder, have invested €120m in the first closing of the €300m Sierra Portugal Fund (SPF).

Mikko Räsänen, portfolio manager at Ilmarinen, told IPE Real Estate: "Pricing is still at a healthy level. We're looking across southern Europe at the moment, but there are not many alternative opportunities. This is a good way to get exposure in Portugal and we have confidence in the fund manager."

The fund is the second launched by shopping centre specialist Sonae Sierra, which is contributing eight seed assets worth €425m located across the Portuguese market. The portfolio also includes three projects currently in development, valued collectively at €235m.

Sonae Sierra spokesman Joao Carlos Lelis said the firm "had not envisaged" the seed assets as being part of the first Sierra fund, launched in 2003. He said the fund offered a "well-diversified indexed-linked income stream" and "an excellent opportunity for investors wishing to get exposed to the Portuguese market".

He added: "The fact that Sonae Sierra will remain as an anchor investor has been attractive for prospective investors. The target investor is of the institutional type, including pension funds, insurance companies and funds of funds. Finnish investors were on the list of prospective investors, eager to get significant exposure to the Portuguese commercial real estate market."