Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fortis Invest eyes $745 mln Asia, Europe funds

Fortis Investments, the global assets management arm of the Fortis group, will launch two investment funds next year worth a combined $745 million to focus on European and Asian property, its real estate chief said on Wednesday.

The two "funds of funds" -- funds that hold a portfolio of other investment funds -- will target institutional investors, particularly Japanese and European pension funds.

"Many pension funds don't have the internal capability to get the sort of exposure that they can get by buying into a fund of funds," Bart Coenraads, chief investment officer and head of real estate for Fortis Investments told Reuters.

Coenraads said he was particularly keen to attract Japanese pension fund investors as their allocations for real estate were minuscule relative to other asset classes.

He plans to raise about $300 million for the Asian fund of funds, about half of which will be invested in Japanese funds. The remaining portfolio will be invested in China, Malaysia, Vietnam, India and Singapore assets.

Fortis Investments, which has about 130 billion euros ($190 billion) in assets under management, has about 2.5 billion euros in global real estate exposure. About 75 percent of its property-related holdings are in publicly traded securities, with the remainder run through its fund-of-funds vehicles. (Reporting by Sebastian Tong)


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