EUROPE - Danish pension funds JØP, which covers lawyers and economists, and PBU, which covers early-years teachers, are among the nine investors in the first close of a €121m food-anchored retail fund targeting returns of 12-13%.

The Nordic Real Estate Partners (NREP)'s sixth fund replicates the strategy adopted for its Retail I fund, which closed in 2010 with €60m. That fund targeted food-anchored retail based on attractive demographics and prime locations.

The new fund has a target size of €250m based on the available pipeline and the potential for prompt deployment.

Discussing the fund, investor relations manager Gustaf Lillehöök said: "Large regional shopping centre and high street assets attract the largest investors because they're big-ticket and easy to invest in. If you invest in them, no-one will ever point the finger if things go wrong.

"In our necessity-anchored segment, asset selection and location becomes very important. Without a local presence and local understanding, this would not be easy. But if you know what you're doing, there is an attractive risk-adjusted return opportunity with low downside risk."

He added: "Risk-adjusted returns in the segment are quite high compared with other low-risk segments, but you need to have the asset management capacity in-house."

In separate news, Aberdeen Asset Management has raised €115m from medium-sized institutional investors for the first close of a "conservative" fund targeting Swedish prime residential.
Fund manager Fredrik Eliasson said by email that the fund, which has low gearing, "has a true core investment risk profile".
"We will not buy turn-around investment cases with significant vacancies," he added.

"When you look at past performance for Swedish residential as an asset class it has, despite its lower risk profile, actually been able to outperform other property asset classes."

Eliasson said this ability was down to his is mainly due to its ability to deliver "low but steady" returns each year compared to more volatile asset classes.
Despite current aggressive pricing in Swedish residential, Eliasson said the 10 investors in the fund - a pension funds and foundations - had "reasonable expectations".

It could take up to two years to deploy the capital raised, although no firm deadline for the investment period has been set, he said.