MEXICO - The Administradoras de Fondos de Pensiones (Afores), which manages Mexico's private pension fund system, has continued to increase its exposure to alternatives by committing capital to an industrial real estate fund.

Afores has invested $293.3m (€231m) in an industrial real estate fund managed by Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI) - known as Pramerica in Europe.

Ruy Halffter, executive director of BBVA Bancomer, placement agent for the fund, said:

"Afores has long invested in bonds and traditional equities, but is beginning to invest in real estate thanks to regulatory changes that allow a range of investment options."

PRUMEX Industrial III is a closed-end, publicly traded commingled fund that will invest in industrial assets in Mexico.

It will look to develop industrial sites and acquire industrial portfolios or individual properties, with a focus on tenants that distribute and/or manufacture goods to Mexican or US consumers.

The PRUMEX fund will also explore joint venture partnerships that could provide a pipeline of transactions.

Maite Igareda, chief operating officer of PREI-Latin America, said: "There is an important, unsatisfied demand for quality industrial space from both manufacturers and distributors in Mexico.

"This fund provides Mexico's Afores and other major qualified investors with an opportunity to make direct real estate investments in Mexico."

PRUMEX Industrial III is PREI's first offering to Afores, a system of private pension funds with more than 30m participants, although the fund manager has been investing in Latin America for clients since 2000.