Aberdeen Property Investors has launched a €1bn (£675m) European shopping fund for international institutional investors.

Aberdeen European Shopping Property Fund, managed by Aberdeen’s Nico Tates, is structured as a closed ended fund with a defined term of 10 years. It will build a diversified retail portfolio with moderate gearing in markets offering strong return prospects.

The fund made its first acquisition in September and holds a portfolio of 150 unit shops in inner city locations across the Netherlands valued at €124 million (£84m). It can invest across the whole of continental Europe, in unit shops, shopping centres and retail warehousing. Initially, the focus will be on the north west of Europe, including Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

The aim is to achieve a return on equity for the investor of above 9% a year net of fees and after leverage, which includes a relatively high cash return of 5%.

The target investment volume is €1bn by the end of 2009. The subscription period for shares is now open for up to 36 months, with the first closing set for the beginning of 2007.