REAL ESTATE - Ireland’s National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) invested €400m in real estate in 2005, according to its annual review. The fund expects to invest €500m in 2006, and €500m for each of the next three years.

And it committed €135m to three property investment vehicles in the first quarter.

At the end of 2005, the €16.6bn NPRF had committed €404m to 12 vehicles, €124m of it invested. Currently, the commitments total 45.1% in Europe (against a target of 35%-65%), 41.2% in North America (15%-50%) and 13.7% in Asia, mainly in a retail property fund (0-30%).

Although Europe accounts for the bulk of the fund’s investment, its largest commitment – €51m – is in the US via the CB Richard Ellis Strategic Partners US Fund IV. Although the fund has invested in airport industrials, it has yet to commit to infrastructure, although Gleeson said infrastructure vehicles were under consideration.

Head of property Ian Gleeson said: “We’re on track. We’re quite happy with what we’ve achieved so far.”

He added: “You can’t read too much into the fact that we appear to be either side of our targets for specific regions. We expect to increase our allocation in years three, four and five of the plan, and we may review the targets as we go.”

Overseeing any review will be an internal investment committee of the fund’s commission, set up by the finance ministry. The government annually contributes 1% of GNP to the fund.

The fund last year initiated a five-year plan to allocate 8% of the total portfolio to real estate by 2009 following a strategic review of its cautious asset allocation formula. The current allocation is 1.1%, with 3.5% committed.