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Danish report
by Euro Reporter
2010-09-23 07:32:16
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Denmark's FSP, Lærernes team up on residential development

Danish pension funds FSP Pension and Lærernes Pension have teamed up to invest nearly DKK400m (€53.7m) in a new residential property development in Denmark. In a joint statement, the funds said the investment in residential property came as part of their general risk diversification strategy.

Construction on the development, called Emiliendalen and located on the edge of Denmark's second-largest city of Århus, will start in the fourth quarter of this year and is scheduled to finish in spring 2012. The pension funds are buying the project from the KPC group, which they said was very experienced with residential developments.

Lettings will be done on a commercial basis, but members of both pension funds will have priority as potential tenants. Of the two funds, FSP currently has the heavier allocation to real estate.  At the end of June, Lærernes Pension held DKK631mn in property, out of total investment assets of DKK40.6bn, putting its property allocation at 1.5%.  FSP Pension held 12% of its DKK23.6bn in total assets in property at the half-year stage.


Denmark bomber finally confirms name

The man thought to be behind last week’s botched bombing in Copenhagen has admitted his identity for the first time since his arrest. Chechnyan boxer Lors Doukaiev confirmed his name at Copenhagen City Court on Monday, despite previously claiming that he couldn’t remember it.

The court decided to extend the alleged bomber’s period of isolation until October 4. Doukaev was arrested on 10th September in connection to a minor explosion at the Jorgensen Hotel in Orstedsparken, Copenhagen. He was apparently seen running from the hotel covered in blood after a bomb he was carrying exploded prematurely. According to BT newspaper, the 24-year-old’s identity was first revealed when his Belgian boxing trainer recognised him from the photograph circulated by police. Doukaiev had been living in Liege with his mother for the past five years.

The trainer said Doukaiev was learning to box at the Club Cocktail in Liege after coming to Belgium to study architecture. The man’s home has been searched by Belgian police but they have not been able to confirm his identity as they do not have his DNA on file. According to Danish police inspector Svend Foldager, the suspect purchased a pair of rubber gloves similar to those found at the hotel. It is thought that Doukaiev was preparing a letter bomb to be sent to Jyllands-Posten – the newspaper that first published controversial cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in 2005 – when the explosive went off by accident in the hotel toilet.


Danes still say No to euro

Statistics Denmark regularly surveys the attitude of the Danes to the euro on behalf of Danske Bank. The September poll shows that the No side has maintained a solid lead over the Yes camp, although the lead has narrowed in recent months. The June poll was con-ducted amid speculation on the sustainability of the euro in the wake of the sovereign debt problems in southern Europe. These worries have eased a bit over the summer and this is reflected in the September poll, which shows a larger number of less certain voters expecting to vote Yes and a smaller number of respondents being certain to vote No.

As such, the no lead has narrowed from 11.3 percentage points in June to 5.0 percentage points in September. This is still a rather comfortable lead. Only twice since 1999 has the No side held a larger lead - during the months following the No vote in the September 2000 referendum on the EMU and in June this year. If we look solely at those who are certain how they would vote, the No side in fact has an even more solid lead than 5.0pp. Only 32.2% of Danes polled are certain that they would vote Yes, while 43.4% would be certain No voters – a difference of 11.2pp. The No camp is usually more successful than the Yes side in EU election campaigns, so a vote held in the near future would most likely result in a No to adopting the euro.

Even so, the September poll shows a certain shift in EMU sentiment compared with June. More of those in doubt about how to vote have joined the Yes camp, with 14.4% of re-spondents saying they might vote Yes in September against only 11.3% in June. Also, the ratio of certain No voters has declined, from 47.8% in June to 43.4% in September. In addition to the debt crisis in southern Europe, the momentum of the No camp probably also reflects the Danish central bank (Nationalbanken) having managed to narrow the official interest rate spread versus the euro zone to just 5 basis points over the past year. This makes the cost of not being a euro member appear considerably less than it did just 1.5 years ago, when the rate spread briefly rose to 175bp.

When the Danes will again vote on adopting the euro remains uncertain - a referendum would be no easy matter, politically speaking, for the current government. First, there is the large risk of the vote going against the government and second, the government’s majority is reliant on the support of Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party), which is opposed to euro participation. Therefore, the government will probably not call a referen-dum until after the next general election, which is due to take place by November 2011. Any future referendum would not necessarily be called soon after the next general election.

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