CANADA - Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Canada's biggest pension-fund manager, posted a 2.3% return in the first half of this year, bolstered by investments in private equity and infrastructure.
The results beat the 1.4% average loss of Canadian pension funds for the first half of 2010, as estimated in a July report by RBC Dexia's investment-services unit.
The Caisse's net assets under management rose 3.2% to C$135.8bn ($130.7bn) as of June 30 from C$131.6bn at the end of 2009, the Montreal-based fund manager said today in a statement.
"The markets were challenging and volatile in the first half of the year, with sharp declines in global stock market indicators and significant concerns about European and U.S. economic outlooks,"
Michael Sabia, who took over as chief executive officer in March 2009, said in the statement. "The Caisse navigated this unfavourable environment well."
The Caisse benefited from pursuing an "offensive" strategy of focusing on fixed income and alternative assets, while taking a "defensive strategy" by reducing holdings of stocks, Sabia told reporters on a conference call.
"We are happy with the progress we've made," Sabia said on the call. "But there remains a lot of work to do."
The Caisse reported a 6% return from its fixed- income asset class and a 3.8% gain on inflation-sensitive investments, countering a 1.7% loss on stocks.
The Caisse had a 15% return on its private-equity holdings and 10% on its investments and infrastructure portfolio. The pension fund's fixed-income gains were mostly from corporate and real estate debt investments.
The fund's biggest purchase of U.S.-listed stocks during the second quarter was 1.64 million shares of Imperial Oil Ltd., a Calgary-based energy company, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Caisse sold 1.7 million shares of BCE Inc., Canada's largest phone company.
Sabia started providing midyear reports on performance last year, the first time in the Caisse's 45-year history.
The Caisse had a 10% return on investments last year with gains in equities and fixed income, after reporting an unrealized first-half loss of C$5.7bn on real estate.
The registration deadline for the Workplace Savings & Benefits Awards 2019 is today.
This week's top stories were the DWP giving the green light to CDC and TPR granting extensions for 11 master trust authorisation applications.
Susan Martin says building strong foundations for business are the only way forward as the pensions industry is radically shaken up
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has granted Now Pensions a six-week extension for its master trust authorisation application after the 31 March deadline, PP can reveal.