Denmark’s AkademikerPension reported a 5.69% return for the first half of this year, with equities having bolstered performance, but said it was not planning to shift the allocation towards shares – even though bonds were under pressure from inflation.

Anders Schelde, chief investment officer at the Danish pension fund, said: “The half-year return is as expected. We are about to crawl out of the shadow of corona. The economies are developing, the gears are moving, it is moving forward.”

In a commentary on investment returns for the January-to-June period, the pension fund said that on stock markets, there had been returns of between 10% and 13% in the first half of the year, but on the other hand, inflation was climbing, which meant rising interest rates.

This in turn meant bond market prices were falling, said the pension fund, which covers mainly public sector employees including upper secondary-school teachers.

“So we are a little more under pressure there than on the equities portion,” Schelde said, predicting that these trends would last for the rest of the year.

As to why Akademiker Pension did not therefore simply invest more money in stocks and less in bonds, he said: “We do not want to change our risk profile. Because what if we are wrong?”

In the first half of the year, the pension fund’s exposure to equities had actually been at the top of the scope set by the board of directors, he said.

“And so we are investing for the long run. And we are certainly very satisfied with the way the return looks at the moment,” Schelde said.

When reporting its 2020 returns back in January, Jens Munch Holst, AkademikerPension’s chief executive officer, said critics may have thought the pension fund’s annual returns should have been higher considering the strong recovery stock markets staged following the March crash.

But he said that as a responsible pension fund, AkademikerPension had to spread its risk and not just run the maximum risk by investing everything in stocks.

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