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Danish roundup: PensionDanmark, Finanstilsynet

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  • Danish roundup: PensionDanmark, Finanstilsynet

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DENMARK - PensionDanmark has bought a commercial property in the country's capital Copenhagen for DKK290m (€39m).

Karsten Withington Brink, head of real estate at PensionDanmark, praised the property, which is currently let to two government agencies.

"This is a high-quality property, which is perfectly situated, and one where the square meterage is utilised well," he said. "Apart from this, with the two government agencies, we have got stable tenants on long-term leases, so the property fits perfectly into our real estate portfolio."

The property, in the former industrial district of Valby, consists of two newly renovated buildings and is leased to the Danish Competition Council and the Property Agency.

Withington Brink said the type of property investment was particularly important at a time of historically low interest rates and turbulence on financial markets, as it ensured a stable return for scheme members.

"So it is our strategy to invest more than DKK5bn more in both existing and new commercial and residential property in the next five years," he said.

The bulk of this new investment would probably be in the capital city region, he added.

In all, PensionDanmark has DKK8.8bn invested in Danish commercial and residential property, or 7% of total assets. It aims to increase this proportion to 10% by 2015.

Separately, the Danish financial regulator has issued the final version of its new demands for minimum competence levels at financial companies and given firms four months to show compliance.

The requirements from the Finanstilsynet, the country's FSA, detailed the knowledge and experience required for the supervisory boards of financial companies, including insurers and pension companies.

Ulrik Nødgaard, director at the FSA, said: "The fundamental principle is the simpler the business model, the fewer demands we will make regarding supervisory board competence.

"I am convinced our clearly expressed expectations will support supervisory boards' assessments of the extent to which they have a strategic overview overall, and are able to challenge management."

One of the key requirements is that large financial companies should always have at least one member of the supervisory board with leadership experience from another relevant financial business.

However, this requirement has been altered slightly in the final version of the rules.

They now state that this experience could have been gained in roles other than that of managing director.

Prior roles such as deputy director, head of credit and similar roles will now also be deemed suitable leadership experience, according to the FSA.

The regulator said the final rules have been formulated from the original proposal presented in March combined with responses from the public consultation.

Companies now have until 1 November to submit documentation to the FSA to show they have met the regulator's self-evaluation demand.

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After the deadline, the regulator will hold talks with those companies not complying with the new demands, and any sanctions will only be imposed after companies' AGMs next spring, it said.

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