CANADA - Quebec's CAD151.7bn (€114bn) state pension fund manager has sold its interests in five hotels as part of a bid to decrease its hospitality sector interests and increase its allocation to office.

SITQ, which is 91.7% owned by the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, sold its 48.5% shareholding in each of five Westin hotels located in Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.

The unidentified buyer is an institutional investor, believed to be another Canadian pension scheme.

SITQ chief executive Bill Tresham, a former fund manager at Callaghan Capital Partners in the US, told IP Real Estate: "In general, we are slowly shifting out of hotels toward the shopping centre and office sectors because the latter two have less volatile returns."

SITQ has CAD17.6bn (€12.6bn) in property assets in Canada, the US, France, the UK and Germany. However, Tresham said the firm was less inclined to move out of hotels in Europe.

"We approach Europe with a broader perspective because it is more common there to hold assets in different sectors," he said. "Here in North America, investment entities tend to be more focused."

He added that in both North America and Europe a platform built for more than 30 years had given SITQ "a distinct competitive advantage" across sectors.

The Caisse has one of the world's10 largest property portfolios. A second subsidiary, Ivanhoe Cambridge, invests globally in shopping centres. A third, Otera Capital, underwrites and manages commercial real estate loans.