Interest, currency hedges hit 2015 returns at Dutch transport scheme

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Vervoer, the €19.8bn sector-wide pension fund for private road transport in the Netherlands, reported a -1.5% loss in 2015 due to negative results on its interest and currency hedges.

The pension fund achieved positive returns on all of the “traditional” asset classes, according to its 2015 annual report, yet this failed to offset losses incurred through its hedges.

Vervoer reported a 2.5% loss on its 63% interest hedge, while its full hedge on the US dollar, the British pound and the Japanese yen caused a 5.1% loss after those currencies appreciated against the euro.

The pension fund’s 69% fixed income allocation produced a 4.7% return over the period, in spite of losses on long-term, euro-denominated government bonds and local-currency emerging market debt.

The 27.4% equity allocation returned 10.4%, with Japanese, US and low-volatility stocks performing best.

Real estate and infrastructure holdings generated returns of 1.5% and 11.8%, respectively.

In its 2015 annual report, the transport scheme said it made a €35m target investment (contributing to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals) in the SME Financial Fund of Actiam-FMO, which provides loans to financial institutions in developing countries.

According to director Willem Brugman, Vervoer has committed to a total investment in the fund of more than €46m.

He added that the scheme had already committed €30m to the Actiam Institutional Microfinance Fund 2 as a target investment in 2008.

As of the end of April, funding at the scheme – which has 623,000 participants and pensioners, affiliated with more than 7,900 companies – stood at 98.8%.

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