GLOBAL - Sampension, which manages three Danish labour-market pension funds, is to return to active property investing next year for the first time since 2008.

This will also see the fund's first investment into US property.
Henrik Kolind, head of property investments, reiterated that the first US property investment would be in the multi-family sector.

"This is the first sector to recover after the recession - there will be a lot of demand from young people who will buy into multi-family rather than a house where they have witnessed very difficult financing," he said.

"This will be a very good time to enter the US market. It will also improve our diversification."

Sampension is already invested in Europe, where domestic investments account for 50% of the portfolio, and has had an allocation to Asian property for the past five years.

The fund, which is still in the process of finalising its new investment strategy, will decide on the size of the US allocation early next year.
The fund intends to access the US market through non-listed funds.

"The opportunity in the listed market has already passed," Kolind said. "If we had invested in US REITs at the beginning of 2009, we would have made a very good return."
Kolind said the US would be the fund's main focus in 2011. After that, it may expand its investments in Asia.

Currently, Sampension is invested in the more developed Asian markets, including Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Malaysia.

"We may look at India and China," Kolind said. "But this is not on the agenda for now."
Sampension manages three labour-market pension funds and had total assets of DKK111bn (€14.9bn) at the end of June.

Property investments account for around 8% of total assets.