GLOBAL - The Teacher Retirement System of Texas has approved a $500m (€371m) investment into General Growth Properties (GGP).

Texas Teachers paid $10.25, which it estimated to be a 20% discount to value.

Pension officials said GGP owned some of the highest-quality regional malls in the US and that it would have been prohibitive for the pension scheme to buy these assets on its own. 

Even with the latest investment, Texas Teachers is still under allocated for retail assets. 

It now has 12.9% of its real estate portfolio invested in retail. By comparison, the NCREIF Property index has a 23% retail allocation.

The pension fund made the investment in GGP as part of capital earmarked for special investment opportunities.

Texas Teachers has set aside $1bn for special investment opportunities, although this capital will be open for all asset classes.

The real estate portfolio, currently valued at $6.5bn, has invested 7.6% of its total plan assets in real estate. The targeted long-term allocation is 15%.