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BLPK at top end of Swiss performers

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SWITZERLAND - The CHF5.2bn (€3.3bn) Basellandschaftliche Pensionskasse generated a 4%return on investments in 2007.

In its preliminary year-end results, the pension fund for public entities in the canton of Basel-Landschaft noted it was mainly its real estate holdings which contributed to the result as the sector achieved a 4.6% return.

This performance places the BLPK at the top-end of  the performance range of Swiss funds  identified by various researchers. (See earlier IPE story: ASIP finds median performance at 1.8%)

However, real estate was not the only positive contributor to the return as a "globally diversified" equity portfolio returned 3.9%, helping to improve the north-Swiss fund's funding ratio by 0.4 percentage points to 93.4%.

Only bonds contributed negatively to the fund's total performance, returning -0.5%, which is down from 6.7% in 2006.

While the BLPK was aided by its real estate holdings, the CHF3.6bn Aargauische Pensionskasse (APK) said hedge funds saved the day for its offering.

Earlier this year, it published preliminary results showing a return of 4.2% in 2007 but hedge funds contributed with an 11.3% performance - "the best in three years" the fund noted.

More details on the APK fund - which has now shifted from a DB to a DC scheme - will be announced in May once the figures have been audited. (See earlier IPE story: Aargau to pay CHF1.7bn into pension)

But other Swiss funds saw their funding ratio drop because of poor performance.

According to Swiss member of parliament Hans-Rudolf Merz, the CHF33bn government pension fund Publica is now 106.7% funded, down from 108.8%.

And the Pensionskasse for the federal railways SBB only reported a 1.08% return with the funding level dropping from 94.5% to 92.4%.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email julie.henderson@ipe.com

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