State Land Fund doubles purchased land area

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State-owned development finance institution ALTUM's Land Fund purchased 2,200 hectares of land for 7.5 million euros in the first quarter, making the fund's total portfolio amount to almost 50 million euros and doubling both the amount of transactions and land area compared to the same period last year, according to ALTUM on April 24.

The Land Fund's portfolio reached 45.6 million euros on March 31, 16.3 million of which were leaseback transactions. The portfolio holds 760 properties, spanning 15,600 hectares, 95% of which is currently leased to farmers for developing or starting operations.

“The Land Fund's operation volumes continue to grow, and during current virus pandemic conditions we can also see great transaction activity and predict that it will continue this year,” said ALTUM Board Chair Reinis Bērziņš.

The fund plans to continue growing by issuing bonds and attracting an additional 20 million euros from capital markets. The Land Fund aims to increase cooperation with farmers, but at the same time not competing with the private market.

According to their website, “The objective of the Land Fund of Latvia is to promote the agricultural land's protection, availability and preservation, as well as efficient and sustainable use thereof at a national level.” It's been active since July, 2015 and buys property that meets certain criteria. In 2017 it began offering leaseback services.

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