REAL ESTATE - Noble Property Trust – the fund set up last year with an initial £20m (€29m) investment from Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund – has reported what it describes as “impressive early gains” in its first six months.

The fund attributed a 14p increase in its unit offer price to nimbleness in responding to market conditions. Deals during the first half of the year included the quick sale of a Surrey office block for £5.75m and reinvestment of the £5.4m proceeds in a warehouse in Portsmouth.

Further acquisitions are expected in the near future. The fund seeking £20m of equity from pension funds towards an expected fund size of £120—150m, including debt. Annual returns are forecast at above 10%.

The fund, which acquires ‘Cinderella’ properties it can add value to, was set up when Nottinghamshire County Council provided £20m for acquisition at the end of 2005 of the £56.2m Macallan portfolio, comprising 20 offices throughout the UK.

Real estate accounts for 15% of the Nottinghamshire portfolio. Most of the allocation is invested in UK property, with a small part invested overseas.

“We recognise that among local authority pension funds, our real estate allocation is among the highest,” said an investment specialist on the fund. “We need to be conscious of that, but the investment committee is keen on real estate.”