DENMARK – Danica Pension, the pension and life insurance arm of Danske Bank, made an 8.5% return on assets in the first half of 2005.

“The return on investment of customer funds was 8.5%, against 2.7% in the first half of 2004,” Danske said in its interim report.

The return on bonds, including bond-based derivatives, was 8.8% - compared to 2% a year before. Equities returned 9.9%, from 6.4%. The return on real property was flat at 4.3%.

Danica said it used a “large part” of the return to increase life insurance provisions due to the fall in interest rates. Net income at the unit rose to DKK730m (€97.8m) from DKK504m a year ago.

Meanwhile, asset management arm Danske Capital saw its assets under management rise to DKK442bn from DKK397bn a year before. It said sales totalled DKK10.3bn in the first half – “driven primarily be increased sales outside Denmark and persistently high sales to institutional investors”.

Danske Capital has also named Stig Brammer, 43, as head of institutional sales. He was formerly head of Danish institutional clients at Nordea Investment Management.