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Danish roundup: Danica, Harbour House, Sundkrog Ejendomsselskab, Skandia

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DENMARK - Danica Pension has bought two properties in Copenhagen in a deal worth DKK670m (€90m).

The commercial pension fund acquired the buildings - known as Clipper House and Harbour House - through its property subsidiary Danica Ejendomsselskab.

The properties have 8,700 square meters and 7,400 square meters of space, respectively.

Christian Olsson, head of property at Danica Pension, said: "With the purchase of Harbour House and Clipper House, Danica Pension is adding to its property portfolio with two outstanding properties, which fit in well with our investment strategy.

"The buildings have a good risk profile and provide a satisfactory return in a market where bond yields are low."

The properties were located in an attractive area, where Danica Pension would like to increase its presence, he said.

"As owner, Danica Pension expects to be able to contribute positively to the planned development of the Lime Kiln Harbour (Kalkbrænderihavnen) area," Olsson said.

The properties have been acquired through real estate firms Harbour House and Sundkrog Ejendomsselskab.

Shipping company Clipper Group has been the main shareholder in both companies up to now, with Unifeeder and Unionkul Holding as co-shareholders in Harbour House, and Unionkul Holding as co-shareholder in Sundkrog Ejendomsselskab.

Following the transaction, Clipper Group will remain as the largest tenant of the properties, which house several other tenants.

"The deal is based on an agreed valuation of the properties of DKK670m in all," Danica Pension said.

Both houses meet high technical construction standards and have been built with a focus on both environmental and energy optimisation.

Sustainable materials have been used as much as possible, and Clipper House is equipped with a large photovoltaic system, the pension fund said.

In other news, Skandia is relaxing the transfer conditions on a with-profits pension product as equity returns perk up.

The provider said it was lowering the withdrawal penalty on its Skandia Bonuspension product to 1.9% from 2.9%.

It said: "The positive return on equities is the primary reason for the reduction, but corporate bonds have also contributed positively to the return over the period.

"The rise in share prices was mostly driven by good news from both the US and emerging markets, which now do not seem likely to be hit as hard by the European crisis as was originally feared."

At the same time, news about the debt situation in Europe had been relatively positive, it said, with Greece having shown the will to come up with the necessary savings demanded by the EU.

"The positive return on corporate bonds is attributable to diminishing fear of a Greek state default and continued good news from the US and emerging markets," it said.

Withdrawal penalties are imposed on some Danish with-profits pension schemes when market values of investments sink below the stated value of members' deposits.

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