NETHERLANDS - The €660m pension fund of tank terminal operator Vopak has awarded a €15m property investment mandate to Aberdeen Asset Management.

Funds will be invested in European real estate through Aberdeen’s fund of funds, Cees Blokzijl, the scheme’s director, has indicated.

According to Blokzijl, the Vopak scheme is re-entering the property market, after an absence of six years, to diversify its position on the back of its latest risk assessment.

More importantly, the scheme is considering further investment in real estate in the long term, he added.

Until recently, the Vopak pension fund had 65.5% of its assets invested in fixed income and the remaining 34.5% in equity, yielding 7.2% and 27% respectively in 2005. The scheme returned 12.6% in total during that year.

At the same time as property diversification, the scheme has also raised its equity investments to approximately 37%, the director said.

The coverage ratio of the Vopak pension fund rose from 116% to 131% in 2006, Blokzijl stated.

The scheme has 1,240 active participants, 2,600 deferred members and 2,700 pensioners.