REAL ESTATE - The £26bn (€38.5bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme, the pension fund for university staff, has made a move to increase it Eastern European real estate holdings.

In an announcement Bulgarian Land Development Plc, registered in the UK and listed on the London Stock Exchange, announced that the pension fund has purchased 250,000 ordinary shares in the capital of the firm.

London Stock Exchange's website shows that, on November 20, 250,000 shares in the company for sold for just over £213,000.

The transaction brings the fund's holdings in the company to over 1.7m shares, "representing 6.9% of the entire issued ordinary share capital of the company", the firm said.

The firm, which started trading only in March this year, focuses on resident and tourist developments at Bulgaria's Black Sea and Ski resort, but the firm said it was open to other investments in Bulgaria as well.

USS also has a large central European real estate portfolio.

In September this year First Property Group, which manages regional real estate for the fund, said that since June "it had been contracted to acquire an additional €13m in Central Europe, primarily on behalf of the fund managed for the Universities Superannuation Scheme".