We concentrate our real estate investments in a limited number of major cities in Europe, the US and Asia: New York, Boston, Washington, San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo. All have large and transparent real estate markets, are expected to see population and/or employment growth, and have potential for economic growth and increased trade. Our investments in these cities are mainly in office and retail properties of a high standard in prime locations.
Our investments in the logistics sector are spread across a wider geographical area. The properties are located close to key transport infrastructure and major population centres.
A film about our real estate management
We invest with partners to benefit from their local knowledge and expertise. We have chosen to partner with large and respected investors with a local presence, a long-term investment horizon and interests that align with those of the fund. We invest in real estate through subsidiaries in order to ensure good risk management and protect the fund’s assets. Our goal over time is to obtain a green building certification for all of our office and retail properties, as we believe that this will be ever more important for a building’s competitiveness.
The return on unlisted real estate investments depends on rental income, operating costs, changes in the value of properties and debt, movements in exchange rates, and transaction costs for property purchases.
The fund announced in 2010 an agreement to acquire 25 percent of The Crown Estate's properties in Regent Street in London. The transaction was finalised in April 2011 and was the fund's first property purchase. This was followed by the purchase of a 50 percent stake in seven properties in and around Paris from AXA Group. In 2012, the fund bought its first property in Switzerland, followed by the first investment in Germany. It also invested in its first shopping centre and entered into the market for logistics properties through an agreement to invest in logistics facilities in 11 European countries. The fund's first real estate investments in the US were conducted in 2013, in New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston. The first investments in Asia were made in Tokyo in 2017.
The fund's holding lists are updated annually in connection with the annual reporting. The real estate investments help diversify the fund. Our listed and unlisted real estate investments are managed under a common strategy.
We invest and manage our portfolio in a focused, responsible and environmentally sustainable manner. Environmentally sustainable management of our properties supports our objective of a high long-term return and can reduce portfolio risk in the long-term. We work with partners and asset managers to integrate sustainability measures into business plans. Improving metering systems and data management is an important priority. We have published a guidance document for our partners and asset managers which identifies what we regard as responsible and commercially viable operating principles for environmentally sustainable management.
Our goal over time is to obtain a green building certification for all our office and retail properties. We believe that green building certifications will be increasingly important for a building’s competitiveness. All our investments participate in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, or GRESB, annually.
Investing through subsidiaries
Real estate investments are made through subsidiaries to ensure sound risk management and to protect Norges Bank and the fund’s assets. It is good risk management and standard practice in the real estate industry to invest through subsidiaries.
The Ministry of Finance has set rules for real estate investments in the fund’s mandate. These rules permit Norges Bank Real Estate Management to invest in real estate through Norwegian or foreign entities. Unlisted companies and real estate structures must be registered in countries that Norway has tax treaties with or countries that give Norway the right to obtain tax information under other international agreements.
Last saved: 04/08/2020