The Strategist

Dutch pension funds will invest € 60 million to reconstruct the Red-Light District

07/26/2016 - 11:30

Pension funds of agricultural workers and Rabobank will invest EUR 60 million in an investment fund established by the Government of Amsterdam and the social housing corporation, writes Financial Times (FT). The pension funds will have 35% share in 1012 Inc investment fund, named after an index of the central area of Amsterdam. The enterprise’s goal is to reconstruct the famous Red Light District in the city, and to reduce the number of adult businesses and coffee shops that sell marijuana. In return, the pension funds will have right to buy out land for construction of four housing complexes, worth 150 million euros in total, outside the ring way of the capital of the Netherlands.

Anders Lejczak via flickr
Anders Lejczak via flickr
"We believe that the principles of transformative investment will be allow us to achieve significant growth in property prices in the center of Amsterdam at a low risk level, and, at the same time, to create a safer and more attractive environment for residents and visitors" - the FT cites Henk Jagersma, CEO at Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance, consultant of the pension funds.  

In 2015, house prices in Amsterdam rose by 17% (data of the Dutch Association of Realtors and Appraisers). "It happens that one view of property for sale collects up to 50 people, and 10 of them leave application", - said Barbara van der Grijp of Engel & Volkers real estate company. According to her, there are foreigners, mostly from the US and the UK, among the buyers: "People come to vacation, walk through the old city and fall in love with it. In terms of happiness and quality of life, Amsterdam is in the top 10 of all ratings".  

Soon, army of Amsterdam’s fans can get a new addition in the person of London financiers, who would have to move to other EU countries thanks to Brexit. The city’s authorities have already started relevant preparation. "In the financial sector, there are segments, niches, clusters, which will move to continental Europe and for which Amsterdam is very suitable, - said recently deputy mayor of Amsterdam Kajsa Ollongren. - I have no purpose to entice the big banks from the UK" (Bloomberg).

Primarily, Asterdam looks interesting for clearing business (now the lion's share of transactions with derivatives in the euro takes place in London, but this may change soon), financial and technological start-ups and firms engaged in high-frequency trading.

The Netherlands have more stringent restrictions on bonuses in the financial sector compared to other EU countries. They cannot exceed the base salary of more than 20%. That's why Ollongren relies on banking professionals working in the clearing sector: "The clearing’s representatives are not guys who have great bonuses and fast cars, their work is very solid, robust and important, and we know how to interact with them." Amsterdam is going to garner attention of fintech start-ups and high-frequency traders with its digital infrastructure.


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