REAL ESTATE - The Construction Federation Operatives Pension Scheme (CFOPS), the Irish builders’ fund, has boosted its real estate allocation by 2% with a move into indirect investment.

Until last year the €570m fund held 10% of its portfolio directly in office and retail property in Dublin. But a strategic review in 2005 resulted in the decision to increase its holding to 15% and to increase its exposure to European real estate with a 5% increase in indirect investment.

Fund administrator Pat Ferguson said he was interested in long-term property investors with a strong presence in the Irish market. “We have a conservative board with experience in construction,” he said. “We’re not interested in developers who renovate and then move on.”

Although it has 3% to go before it reaches its real estate allocation target, the fund’s next property project will be to revamp two dated Dublin office blocks. The detour into direct investment was “just through circumstance”, said Ferguson.

Ferguson added that the fund’s real estate holding was likely to peak at 15%. “We don’t want to go much higher,” he said.