NORTH AMERICA – The New Mexico State Investment Council is planning to place $330m (€242m) of capital in real estate over the next 18 months as part of its 2014 investment plan.

The sovereign wealth fund has earmarked $170m for core and $160m for value-add/opportunistic strategies. 

The investor will be working with its real estate consultant, the Townsend Group, to find and select investment opportunities.

Vince Smith, deputy investment officer at New Mexico, said: “Our focus in the core sector will be with core-plus investment scenarios, where there is occupancy risk in the transactions. Part of this strategy will be to monitor and maintain existing open-ended core investments.”

New Mexico is also keen on industrial properties. 

“This is a property type we are currently under-allocated to,” Smith said.

“I would expect we would be looking at some investment opportunities for industrial at our board meeting on 28 January. The feeling is that, as the overall economy improves, so does the performance of industrial properties.”

New Mexico will also be looking to gain some international exposure, making its first foray into Asian real estate.

“This region in the world has some growth prospects,” Smith said. “I would expect to consider an investment opportunity in Asia for the January board meeting. We are set at this point to the commitments we have made in Europe.”

New Mexico did decide to withdraw one of its commitments approved in 2013 – a $50m allocation to the MetLife Core Property Fund. 

Smith said: “We were not able to work out final negotiations on our commitment into the commingled fund. The capital we had planned for this commitment will now be open for a new investment in real estate.”