EUROPE - German and Austrian pension funds are among the first to invest in Henderson Global Investors' first German real estate Spezialfonds.

The UK asset manager Henderson Global Investors has launched the Henderson German Retail Income Fund (HGRIF) and already collected €170m.

Of this, €85m comes from German insurers and Versorgungswerke, as well as German and Austrian Pensionskassen.

This first German real estate Spezialfonds launched by Henderson Global investors is investing in retail parks in the core and core plus categories in conurbations.

Henderson Global Investors said it had already made its first investment for the fund having bought a retail park near Cologne. It added that further purchases were "near closing".

Thilo Wagner, manager of the new fund, said he focused on new or recently refurbished properties with long-duration tenancy agreements and at least 5-8 tenants with a good financial background.

In total, 10-15 properties are to be purchased for the fund, which has a target volume of €300m.

Wagner is aiming at an average return of 6% a year.

The fund management has been outsourced to the Service-KAG IntReal, a 100% subsidiary of Warburg-Henderson, which is a joint venture between Henderson Global Investor and the independent German private bank MM Warburg & Co.

Meanwhile, Warburg-Henderson in Hamburg announced another purchase for its European Core Property Fund No. 1, which was set up in December 2006 for several German institutional clients.

The most recent holding in the fund is the shopping centre Tuna Park in the Swedish town of Eskilstuna, which was purchased for €61m.

The centre was opened in 2005 and has a rentable space of 16,400 square meters.

Apart from the Swedish property, the fund, which is focusing on retail property in Europe, has holdings in Amsterdam, Durham, Edinburgh, Helsinki, London, Sevilla and Paris.
Warburg-Henderson reported a 7% return for the fund as at the end of June.