Sweden fund comes calling

07 Jan, 2013 07:52 AM
"We don't want to be too public about our investments as we don't want people to have biases [about who is investing]," says Rikard Kjörling, head of external assets at AP1.

THE head of external assets at AP1, Sweden's first pension fund, has spoken for the first time about investment in Australian rural property, confirming the fund has joined its Swedish peer AP2 in the hunt for farms.

Rikard Kjörling told The Australian Financial Review he visited Australia late last year to inspect farmland assets.

"We have been working on a strategy to invest in farmland for three to four years," Mr Kjörling said.

"We have started to invest on a small scale and, while we can never confirm specific acquisitions, I can say we have started to invest."

The fund, which manages more than 221 billion kronas ($31.5 billion) worth of assets, snapped up the 1600-hectare Merri Meric in NSW's eastern Riverina.

The property was purchased through a vehicle called First Australian Farmland for just under $7 million.

The Swedish fund's peer, AP2, has been buying Australian farmland through US fund manager TIAA-CREF's Westchester.

Mr Kjörling said there was a desire to keep a low profile during the initial stages of investment.

"We don't want to be too public about our investments as we don't want people to have biases [about who is investing]," he said.

"However, we know we have an obligation to the local community."

He said AP1 was interested in investing in Australian and New Zealand farmland but did not want to comment on the level of investment it was prepared to make.

The Australian Financial ReviewSource: http://www.afr.com
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7/01/2013 11:07:18 AM

Australian super funds?
Bushie Bill
9/01/2013 6:00:22 AM

So, it appears from the lack of redneck raving to this initiative that Swedes are ok but Chinese are definitely not ok. Now I wonder why that would be so?
what the
14/01/2013 6:01:06 AM

Why don’t they buy our farms and degenerate them back to bushland in the name of carbon trading, that’s been a real winner to date. The last lot that did this are in the hands of the receiver’s leaving good farm land destroyed and unsaleable.
14/01/2013 9:55:44 AM

@What the, could you post some info on this, so I can go and check it out. Thanks
14/01/2013 10:08:31 AM

How did I miss this article, Bushie I would love to say, It's fine just to get your blood pressure up. The truth of the matter is, nope not on, what did you think we are racist or something, I don't support any foreign government owning Australia, especially if the production is no longer Australian and is destined offshore, there are too many unknowns regarding the amount of land already in foreign ownership.
Bushie Bill
14/01/2013 3:09:40 PM

Congratulations, Nev, a very learned and studied approach, full of basic hard-headed economic analysis and a deep understanding of international investment and politics. Incidentally, there is no suggestion the Swedish fund is "government owned", is there? And what do you mean by "especially if the production is no longer Australian and is destined offshore"? There is no mention about that in the article either, is there? Always easier on the brain cells to make self-serving intellectually-convenient assumptions, isn't it, Nev?


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