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Sweden’s AMF reports 1.3% gain as property shines

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Sweden’s third biggest pension fund bucked the trend last year to produce a 1.3% gain on its investment portfolio, according to preliminary full-year results just released.

AMF reported that its real estate allocation produced a gain of 12.4% for 2018.

The total return of 1.3% is lower than the previous year’s 7.9% gain, but comes at a time when many other pension funds are reporting losses.

Chief executive Johan Sidenmark said: “In light of the late autumn’s sharp fall in stock prices, I am pleased that we could secure a positive return for the full year.”

Sidenmark said AMF had worked actively with its allocation to increase the proportion of assets that did not correlate with the stock market, such as real estate and infrastructure.

“The year was characterised by signs that a slowdown was beginning, while trade wars and political concerns created uncertainty in the financial markets,” he added.

The fund’s average annual return over the past five years was 6.8%, and 7.6% a year over the past decade. Total assets dipped to SEK590bn (€56bn) at the end of December 2018 from SEK596bn a year earlier.

AMF said its property portfolio generated the strongest return of any asset class during the year, with a return of 12.4%, while the return on alternative assets was 4.1%.

Both equity and fixed income incurred losses over the course of the year, it said.

AMF’s solvency ratio fell to 182% from 196%, the provider reported, after SEK11.2bn was allocated to a reinforcement of guarantees during the year.

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