SWEDEN - Swedish pension institutions AMF Pension and Alecta have both today announced nine-month returns of around 5%.

The SEK35bn (€3.79bn) AMF saw a 4.9% return of all assets in the first nine months of this year, against a 12.8% return in the prior-year period.

AMF announced this today in its third quarter results, however arguing that "AMF Pension continues its strong development".

A spokesman for the fund explained the lower return by arguing that the market was not as positive as it was last year when stock market returns were much higher.

Nonetheless, he said: "It is still a very strong figure for our business compared to competitors."

Ingvar Skeberg, AMF's deputy chief executive, told IPE that he was satisfied with the result saying that this was probably either the best or the second best return on investment in the first nine months on the Swedish market.

Asked if the fund was planning any strategy changes Skerberg said: "Our strategy is extremely good and we are very happy with that."

Meanwhile, €44bn Swedish occupational pensions firm Alecta today announced a total return of 5.1%. "The main explanation for this is rising stock market prices during the third quarter," the firm said.

"This is a good for return for the period but it is even more important to look at our ability to create a long-term return. We have achieved an average annual return of 6.6% over the past five years," said Alecta president Tomas Nicolin.

Alecta is one of the life insurance companies participating in the tender process the new defined contribution ITP Plan.