REAL ESTATE - Stichting Metro Pensioenfonds has joined Altera Vastgoed as shareholder, the real estate fund has announced.

With a participation of €10m in the sectors retail and offices, Metro Pensioenfonds has become its 22nd shareholder, Altera added.

According to Altera Vastgoed, its assets under management are €1.4bn now.

Stichting Metro Pensioenfonds represents the 5,000 staff of self-service wholesalers Makro and Lucas Klamer – part of Metro Group - which have 17 branches in the Netherlands.

Altera Vastgoed is a private and sectoral real estate fund for pension funds. It offers one legal and fiscal umbrella for participants in its four portfolios of housing, retail, offices and industrial real estate. Altera is open to new participants, it said.

Elsewhere, the Christian Democrats have demanded that housing corporations should be able to sell off housing more easily to investors such as pension funds.

Like this, the housing can stay in the rent sector, but at the same time housing corporations can free up more money to build new houses or to improve town districts, the coalition party argued during the general financial consideration about the Budget 2007 last week.

The CDA proposed that investors should be enabled to buy the homes for a lower price than is now usual: instead of paying 90% of the of the empty value, the party wants that investors to buy it for just 80 to 85%.

The party argues that the initiative would free up more liquidity for the housing corporations that they could then invest unprofitably, making this is a better solution than a levy of the return on assets as some other parties have proposed, according to CDA.