Pensioenfonds Vervoer, the €29bn sector scheme for private sector road transport in the Netherlands, has decided to double its strategic allocation to non-listed real estate to 10% of assets. It has also introduced a new country policy, limiting investments in countries that score poorly on human rights, corruption and labour rights.

The pension fund decided to increase its allocation to non-listed real estate from 5% to 10% as part of a review of its strategic investment policy, said Willem Brugman, director of the pension fund.

According to Brugman, a higher allocation to non-listed real estate is expected to give better risk/return outcomes “in diverse economic scenarios”.

Vervoer will add to its holdings in both Dutch and international real estate, which it will finance by reducing its allocation to high-yield bonds. Currently, Vervoer mostly invests a total of €1.25bn in the asset class through participations in Dutch residential real estate investment funds of Bouwinvest, Syntrus Achmea and ASR.

It also owns a €166m stake in the CBRE Dutch Retail Fund. It has limited holdings in direct real estate (€60m) and sold off its remaining €81m stake in listed real estate in 2022.

China exit

China Recovers

Vervoer has excluded investments in Chinese government debt

The pension fund also announced a new, stricter policy regarding its investments in government debt and companies in which the state has a majority stake.

Under its new policy, countries that have a score of 6 or 7 (on a 7-point scale) on the Freedom in the World Index of thinktank Freedom House will be excluded.

The same goes for countries with the lowest score on the ITUC Global Rights Index on labour rights, and for countries with a score of less than 20 (on a 100-point scale) on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.

Among the 25 Asian and African countries excluded by Vervoer are China, Egypt, Thailand and Vietnam.

Vervoer’s move follows similar steps taken by other Dutch pension funds, including PostNL, GP fund Huisartsen and metal and technology sector schemes PMT and PME.

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