SWEDEN - The 197 billion-crown (21.3 billion-euro) pension provider AMF Pension has made its first investment in real estate in a year, buying three properties from Skanska for more than one billion crowns.

AMF Pension, owned jointly by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, invests about six per cent of its portfolio in real estate, but last year it sold four properties and acquired none, a spokeswoman told IPE.

Commenting on the purchase of the properties, two of which are in Stockholm and one in Gothenburg, Tom Jensen, head of real estate at AMF Pension, said: “In the last few years we have done some good deals selling off properties, but now we have seen a business opportunity and it was the right time for us to get to the market again and build our portfolio.”

Last week AMF also wrote to the about 50 listed companies in which it has invested to ask them to tackle the issue of bonuses to staff and management at their annual general meeting.

AMF has asked for details on how companies run their bonus schemes to be disclosed.

The scheme said it was ‘standard procedure’ to write to the companies and ask for some topics to be discussed at annual general meetings and companies generally conform to such requests.

In case they did not raise the issue as requested, the spokeswoman said that representatives of the pension provider would raise the issue at the meeting.

The move comes as the debate on bonus policies in the country is becoming more and more intense and bonuses come under greater scrutiny.

A spokeswoman for AMF said that as a shareholder it had been called to vote on bonus programmes 120 times in 2002. That figure halved in 2003 and fell to 24 this year.