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Danica moves into equities as returns slip

DENMARK – Danica Pension, the life insurance and pension arm of Danske Bank, made a return on investments of 2.7% in the first half of 2004 - down from 4.8% a year before.

It said the return on bonds, including derivatives, was 2.4% while equities returned 6.4%. Real estate returned 4.3%.

Danica made 92 million crowns (12.4 million euros) on its investments in the first half, down from 141 million crowns a year before. The asset allocation was 80% bonds, 11% equities and nine percent property.

It said: “In the first half of the year, Danica Pension made net investments in equities, increasing the equity risk by 1.8 billion crowns.” Net profit fell 22.9% to 459 million crowns from 596 million crowns a year ago.

In July this year Danica bought Norwegian insurance and pension companies Nordenfjeldske Personforsikring and Gjensidige NOR Fondsforsikring.

Gross premiums of the two acquired companies were expected to amount to 0.1 billion crowns in the second half.

Overall, Danske Bank reported a net profit of 4.4 billion crowns, from 4.8 billion crowns a year before.

"The core banking business shows good growth, and our core earnings have risen four percent,” said chief executive Peter Straarup.

Earlier this month ATP, Denmark’s largest pension scheme, said its market return on investment was –1.6% in the second quarter – taking its total first half return to 4.4%.

It said that all asset classes produced positive returns in the first half of the year. “The portfolios of bonds and interest-rate hedging instruments between them produced a return of 5.8 billion crowns, equivalent to 2.8%.” Equities returned 5.1 billion crowns, or 13.5%.

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