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The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global Makes First Property Investment in the US

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global bought 49.9 percent of five office properties in the US, its first investment in the world’s largest real estate market, through a joint venture with TIAA-CREF.

The assets in New York City, Washington D.C. and Boston are valued at $1.2 billion, or about 6.6 billion kroner. TIAA-CREF, the seller, retained 50.1 percent of each property and will manage the buildings on behalf of the partnership. The transaction was completed on Feb. 8.

“This is the fund’s first real estate investment outside of Europe and is in line with our strategy to build a high-quality, global property portfolio,” says Karsten Kallevig, chief investment officer for real estate at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the fund’s manager. “We are very pleased to team up with a partner that has TIAA-CREF’s knowledge and capabilities, and look forward to jointly developing the venture.”

The properties consist of 1.9 million square feet (172,450 square meters) of rentable space. Two of the properties are located in New York City, two in Washington D.C. and one in Boston. The joint venture will seek to acquire additional office properties, primarily in these three cities.

“As the world’s largest real estate market, the US will be an important part of the fund’s long-term property portfolio,” Kallevig says. “We will initially seek to invest in key east-coast cities.”

The fund made its first real estate investments in 2011 in office and retail properties in London and Paris. It is mandated to hold 60 percent in equities, 35-40 percent in fixed income and as much as 5 percent in real estate.

Next Finance , February 2013

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