SWEDEN – AP1 says recent press statements about it moving into hedge funds are “misleading” and that it will not start reviewing hedge funds until 2005 for possible investment.

The 139 billion-crown (15.2 billion-euro) fund said in a statement: “Första AP-fonden is currently in the building-up phase for alternative investments. Statements in the press recently about Första AP-fonden moving into hedge funds already in 2004 are misleading.”

It added: “At this stage, Första AP-fonden prioritizes building up the private equity portfolio. The fund will not start reviewing hedge funds until 2005 for possible investments some time during that year.”

On April 8 IPE reported that AP1 planned to research hedge funds, citing the fund’s 2003 annual report. The report says: “In 2004 the fund will continue its efforts to select and invest in private equity funds and will begin researching hedge funds and additional real estate investments.”

It goes on: “At this stage, the fund prioritises building of the private equity portfolio over the other two asset classes.”

The report added that a long-term ambition is to increase the share of alternative investments in the portfolio to 10% of the fund capital.

Earlier this month AP1, which returned 16.5% in 2003, said it has raised the currency exposure in its strategic benchmark to 20%, from 15% previously.