EUROPE – The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global has moved into the Swiss real estate market for the first time with the purchase of the Uetlihof office complex in Zurich for CHF1bn (€830m).

The sale-and-leaseback deal with Credit Suisse is the latest in a series of large investments made by the NOK3.7trn (€506bn) sovereign wealth fund as it seeks to build up core pan-European real estate exposure.

It comes several weeks after Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the fund's investments, entered into a joint venture with AXA Real Estate to acquire office and retail assets in Germany.

Karsten Kallevig, CIO for real estate at NBIM, said: "The transaction marks the fund's first property investment in Switzerland. Since entering the real estate market in 2011, the fund has also invested in property in the UK, France and Germany."

Credit Suisse will lease the property for 25 years starting today and has the option to extend the lease by as many as 15 years.

Uetlihof, located approximately 3km southwest of Zurich's city centre, is Credit Suisse's main global office centre.

Credit Suisse will have operational responsibility for Uetlihof during the fixed lease period.

The office complex has more than 8,000 workspaces, as well as a precious metal vault and data centre. It includes 173,807 square metres of let-able space.