FINLAND - Protego Real Estate Investors has acquired Helsinki's Kamppi shopping centre for €452.5m in an off-market deal.

The Finnish acquisition, for a Nordic retail fund launched last year, represents an initial yield of 4.5%.

The fund is targeting assets with strong rental growth and potential for active asset management, and Protego cited "asset management opportunities" in its decision to acquire the asset under a first-refusal agreement with joint venture partner EFM, which manages the Nordic fund's portfolio.

"We've turned down deals in the past," head of investment Hugo Llewelyn told IPE Real Estate.

Of the Nordic markets, he said Finland had "the strongest occupational story and a strong economy".

 "Central Helsinki has very little prime retail. It has a short high street and older shopping centres. Kamppi was only completed in the past couple of years," Llewelyn added. "In general we're keen on Finland - as well as Sweden, Denmark and Norway."

The firm opened an office in Stockholm last autumn.

Despite a scarcity of opportunities that has seen institutional investors refocusing their attention outside the capital, GIC, the €145bn Singapore sovereign wealth fund, last month acquired a 40% stake in Helsinki's Iso Omena shopping centre.

The California State Teachers Retirement System earlier this month also announced it would invest $100m in Nordic property including in Norway, Sweden and Finland.