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The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has sold a portfolio of 11 forestry blocks in New Zealand’s North Island.

General Manager Investments Matt Whineray said selling the forest blocks would enable the Fund to focus on other domestic and international investment opportunities.

“In line with our objective to maximise the Fund’s returns over the long term, and factoring in the growth opportunities in other parts of our portfolio, we see more attractive investment opportunities for our purposes elsewhere.”

“We are always working to ensure that we have the best possible mix of investments in the Fund.”

The China National Forest Products Trading Corporation (CNFP, www.cnfpc.net.cn/), a log importer and subsidiary of the state-owned China Forestry Group Corporation, has purchased the majority of the portfolio, subject to Chinese regulatory approval. The remaining assets have been sold to New Zealand investors.

Following the sale, the Fund’s New Zealand timber investments will still exceed $1 billion, including its major stake in the 178,000 hectare Kaingaroa Forest in the central North Island.

The Fund’s portfolio of New Zealand investments has risen in value in recent years, from $2.4 billion in June 2009 to $3.4 billion as at 31 March 2013.

Recent investments include a $140 million stake in technology services company Datacom; a $116 million portfolio of 11 New Zealand dairy farms; and (subject to customary closing conditions) the purchase of an additional 1.25% of Kaingaroa Forest. The Fund also has more than a billion dollars invested in the New Zealand sharemarket.

The timber portfolio that has been sold comprises forest crop and around 14,000 ha of land in locations throughout the North Island. The bulk of the portfolio was purchased by the Fund in 2005, with some minor additions in 2008. The sale to CNFP has been approved by New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

The sale price is confidential.

ENDS

*Values as at 31 March 2013.

Media contact: Catherine Etheredge, Head of Communications, New Zealand Superannuation Fund, [email protected], 0274 777 501.

 

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