EUROPE - Dutch institutional investors such as pension funds have a growing appetite for raw materials, so far they have invested already around €20bn (£13.5bn) in the asset class reports show.

Though investing in raw materials is no sinecure, Dutch investors see the asset class as a way of spreading risk in their portfolios, as there is little relation to the exchange developments of shares, asset managers said.

Elsewhere it appeared that also other European pension funds are expanding into commodities and raw materials.

In a notice from the London Stock Exchange (LSE), it appeared that the £26bn (€38.5bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the pension fund for university staff, has bought over 10m shares worth $100,500, in Frontier Mining Ltd.

According to its website, the firm, which is listed on the LSE, explores and develops gold and copper deposits in Kazakhstan - USS hold a stake of 7.56% in the firm.

The news comes after USS last week also appeared to have been buying into a Bulgarian real estate developer.