Denmark’s Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond (LD) made a 2% total return on investments in its main LD Vælger product in the first six months of this year and has increased its investment in Gilt-edged bonds in the period.

The result fed through into a 1.5% attributable return before pensions tax in the half year, down from the 4.6% return reported on the same basis in the first half of 2015, according to the pension fund’s interim report.

Singling out its US investment manager for global equities MFS for praise, LD said the manager had delivered results significantly better than the general market since 2011.

“This has happened with an investment strategy focusing on defensive shares, less sensitive to changes in market mood,” the pension fund said.

The global equities portfolio returned 2.8% between January and June.

The Danish equities portfolio, however, made a loss of 2.5%, 1.5 percentage points below the comparison index.

Shares, which were overweight compared with the benchmark at the start of the year, were reduced to a neutral weighting in the second quarter, while Gilt-edged bonds were overweight in the period, LD said.

Meanwhile, Danish lawyers and economists’ pension fund JØP and engineers’ pension fund DIP – which now have joint investment and administration activities – reported half-year investment returns of 2.6% and 1.3%, respectively.

In the same period last year, the funds reported returns of 3.1% and 4.9%.

Torben Visholm, chief executive at both schemes, said: “After a limping start to the year, equities came on well, and since both bonds and alternative investments such as property, for example, benefited well from the continued fall in interest rates, 2016 looks at this point a little better than expected.”

In other news, labour-market pension provider PenSam posted a 4.7% overall return for the first half and said the fall in interest rates during the period had boosted returns on guaranteed pension products in particular.

The return is up from the 3.7% return PenSam Liv reported for a typical pension customer in the same period last year.

Reporting interim results, the pension fund said: “The return was achieved in a difficult market, where there continues to be great uncertainty, not least on the equities markets.”

PenSam said interest rates had fallen to new record lows, partly because of the Brexit vote.

“The fall in interest rates contributed positively to returns on pension products with yield guarantees,” it said.

Elsewhere, Lærernes Pension – the Danish pension fund for teachers – reported a 5.2% investment return for the January-to-June period and said that, by the end of August, the year-to-date return had increased to around 9%.

The first-half return compares with the 3.7% posted for the first half of 2015.

Morten Malle, the pension fund’s CIO, told IPE the main contributors to the result had been the fund’s exposure to emerging markets, low-volatility strategies and the fall in interest rates.