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Dutch roundup: PGB, ING, SPW

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The large Dutch pensions funds ING, PGB and SPW generated modest returns over 2015, although most alternative asset classes performed relatively well.

PGB, the €21.5bn scheme for the printing industry, which has also taken in schemes from other sectors, delivered the best performance over the period, with a 1.4% return.

Alternatives were the standout performers, with real estate returning 9.8%, private equity 18% and mortgages 8.8%.

Equity returned 8.1%.

In contrast, the pension fund lost 1.1% on its government bond holdings, with losses on its combined currency and interest hedges coming at the expense of 2.5 percentage points of its annual result.

Over 2015, PGB’s policy funding – the criterion for indexation and rights cuts – dropped by 4 percentage points to 101.4%.

In other news, the Pensioenfonds ING, now closed, reported an annual return of 1.1%.

It lost 1.7% on its 70.3% matching portfolio, while its return portfolio, consisting primarily of equities, generated 10%.

According to the €25.2bn ING scheme, real estate and alternatives returned 17.2% and 18.3%, respectively.

Equity, credit and emerging market debt produced positive results of 9.6%, 0.2% and 5.3%, respectively.

The pension fund lost 0.8 percentage points on its currency hedge.

Last year, its funding ratio in real terms rose by 4.1 percentage points to 93.5%.

Elsewhere, SPW, the €10.6bn scheme for housing corporations, returned 1.1%, in part following positive results on government bonds (1.2%), low-volatility developed-market equities (15.1%) and credit (6.1%).

The sector scheme said it made a 30.8% return on infrastructure and that hedge funds, private equity and property performed well, delivering 12.2%, 17% and 15.9%, respectively.

Harald de Valck, SPW’s director, attributed the results on hedge funds and private equity in particular to the appreciation of the dollar relative to the euro, as the holdings were predominantly in the US.

“However,” he added, “the effect was largely undone following the scheme’s 75% currency hedge.”

According to the director, the performance of infrastructure was in part due to a revaluation of the investments.

SPW said losses on its currency and interest cover amounted to 4% and 0.5%, respectively.

The pension fund for the housing corporations lost 23.4% on commodities – largely due to plummeting oil prices – as well as 5% on emerging market equities.

At year-end, its policy funding stood at 109%.

PGB, the ING scheme and SPW reported returns of 1.8%, 0.4% and 0.8%, respectively, over the fourth quarter.

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