The Novartis pension fund has sold a SFr1.2 billion ($746 million) real estate portfolio to Credit Suisse Asset Management in the first transaction of its kind under a new tax law. The deal is likely to be closely watched by other pension funds.
In a joint statement, Credit Suisse Asset Management and Novartis said the agreement covered 100 properties, and that the transaction should be completed in the first half of 2002.
The new law allows companies to keep an indirect interest in property through a real estate investment fund.
Novartis says the move has several advantages. It said management costs would be smaller, performance would tend to be higher and that it could better diversify its property portfolio.
The Novartis pension fund is worth around SFr18 billion, of which around 10 per cent is invested in property.
swissinfo with agencies