GERMANY - German pension schemes will be the main takers for a new fund targeting cross-sector property in the Austrian market, according to Henderson Global Investors.

Warburg-Henderson KAG, a German subsidiary, will manage the fund, which has an existing war chest of €130m, 50% of it debt.

The fund's target size is €300m, spread across 10-15 assets, with an anticipated 7% return.

The fund - the second for the Austrian market from the joint venture between Henderson and Viennese insurer Wiener Städtische Versicherung - will target German pension funds looking for relatively cautious diversification outside its home market with exposure to the Central European growth story.

Henderson spokeswoman Gemma Bradley said: "It isn't an area we invest in, so this is a good way to get access."

Although the initial focus is on retail, which the fund manager believes is currently attractively priced, it is also scouting office in Austria's main cities.

The fund has already acquired one asset, a retail warehouse in central Vienna.

Following the success of the Warburg-Henderson KAG's first €230m Austria fund, which delivered a 6% return and is currently selling off its assets, the fund manager will target a new round of investors for this fund.

"They've already shown proof of concept, so we expect a lot of interest," said Bradley.

The launch follows Austria's lifting last year of a 25% withholding tax previously levied on rental income profit from property value increases.

The tax had applied to German insurers and pension schemes.