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Vervoer invests in RaboBouw infrastructure

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NETHERLANDS -Vervoer, the €6.4bn industry-wide pension fund for the private transport sector, has been cited as one of the main investors for a new infrastructure investment fund created by Rabobank's subsidiary Rabo Bouwfonds.

Known as the Rabo Bouwfonds Dutch communication infrastructure fund (RBIC), the new fund is an initiative of Bouwfonds Asset Management and has been created to allow institutional investors, such as pension funds, to invest in the Dutch telecoms sector.

RBCIF said assets will only be acquired through the fund where there are stable cash flows and an "interesting active portfolio" but monies will be used to help telecommunication companies finance developments such as cable networks and wireless.

Total equity raising within the fund is €750m and the first asset to be acquired is cable company CAIW, which provides telecoms services in the Dutch regions of Westland and Midden-Delfland and has a total network of 135,000 clients.

Bertus Franssens, Bouwfonds, the latter stated the new fund wants in addition to providing the more traditional investment products to institutional investors also give clients the opportunity to invest in more risk orientated investment products". He also reiterated that future investments will reap increasingly the rewards of the real estate characteristics of infrastructure.

Patrick Groenendijk, chief investment officer at Pensioenfonds Vervoer, said the pension fund has set up an investment strategy for 2008 to seek out more assets with a low correlation to existing investments.

"The latter is needed to increase the yield/risk relationship of the pension fund. One of the options available at present is to invest in infrastructure. The Bouwfonds initiative has given us the opportunity to participate as a seed investor in an innovative fund, which will give us high yields in combination with a low risk profile," said Groenendijk.

Pensioenfonds Vervoer currently has approximately €480m, or 7.5% of its assets under management allocated to real estate.

The fund now has around 482,500 members, of which 290,000 are deferred members and 29,000 are pensioners.

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