DENMARK – Industriens Pension says the time is now right to start buying Danish property and plans to invest on home turf for the first time, putting DKK5bn (€670m) into domestic real estate over the next few years.

Up to now, the DKK100bn labour-market pension fund has restricted its property investments to foreign markets.

It has appointed Peter Frische, marketing director at Swedish property company Norrporten, in the newly created role of head of Danish property investments.

Frische, who is responsible for Danish operations at Norrporten, has been involved in the real estate investment market since 1993 and was previously chief analyst and then partner at property consultants Sadolin & Albæk.

Jan Østergaard, investment director at Industriens, said: "With the appointment of Peter Frische, we have laid the best possible foundation for the realisation of our ambitious strategy for property investment in Denmark."

Explaining why the pension fund had hitherto only invested in overseas real estate, he said Industriens had been worried about the level of prices in the Danish property market.

"Now the time has come when there is a reasonable balance between property prices and the yield level," Østergaard said.

Over the next few years, the pension fund plans to invest DKK5bn in Danish property.

At the moment, foreign property investments total DKK2.3bn, it said.

In other news, pension fund LD said it had increased its equities allocation slightly over the last two months and was now taking a little more risk in the portfolio.

Dorrit Vanglo, director, said: "We don't believe shares will go down much further."

Stock market results in 2012 also supported this view, she said.

She said the Danish equities market had done very well in 2012, and even though there could still be a dip, LD believed there could be a general improvement in the course of the next few months.

"This will be a weak improvement, and we will be well into 2013 before we see prices rising," Vanglo said.

The pension fund said the crisis was far from over, but added that there were positive signs here and there.

It pointed out that interest-rate differentials have narrowed quite significantly in some Southern European countries, including Italy, and that the US presidential election was over.

This meant US politicians would hopefully concentrate on finding solutions to the outstanding budget issues, it said.