EUROPE – PKA is investing DKK500m (€67m) in an emerging market infrastructure private equity fund and says it plans to boost overall infrastructure investments by 170% in the next few years.

The Danish labour-market pension fund administrator said it was investing the sum in the Actis Energy Fund 3, which focuses on developing local electricity supply, particularly in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Christian Drews-Olesen, investment manager in PKA Alternative Investment Partners (PKA AIP), said: “The approach is that investments should make a difference as well as generate a return, whether it is to deliver stable power to populations or develop the hospital system and make it more accessible.”

PKA also said it aimed to increase its total investment in infrastructure to DKK16bn over the next few years from DKK6bn now.

Actis is a private equity firm investing across emerging markets, and was set up in 2004 as a spin-off from the UK’s development arm CDC.

Drews-Olesen said Actis took SRI seriously and had established an internal team that was thoroughly involved in the investment process.

PKA said it has previously invested DKK250m in Actis Emerging Markets 3 – a fund investing in Indian healthcare and other sectors.

In other news, Danica Pension reported returns of 1.1% in the first quarter of 2013 on its traditional with-profits pensions, and said a surge in Swedish contributions boosted overall contributions by 11% during the period.

The return was down slightly lower than the 1.5% posted for the same period last year.

Pre-tax profits at the Danske-Bank subsidiary rose to DKK385m in the January-to-March period, up from DKK206m in the same period last year.

Average returns on unit-link pension products Danica Balance and Danica Link were 4.5% in the quarter.

In the first quarter, Danica reported returns for these products of between 4.15% and 11.3% depending on risk profile and the number of years to retirement.

Contributions rose 11% to DKK7.7bn, with all markets witnessing growth, Danica said.

In Sweden, contributions rose 52%, while growth in Norway was 8% compared with just 1% in Denmark.

Per Klitgård, managing director, said: “The satisfying development in Sweden can be attributed to Danica Pension making progress in the private and labour-market pensions markets.”

The company was also satisfied with its Danish business, he said, with a drop in contributions from large clients offset by an increase in contributions from small and medium-sized companies.

Total assets at the commercial pension provider grew to DKK327bn from DKK311bn, while costs fell to 3.3% from 4.1%.

Meanwhile, PKA is increasing its investment in Danish biotech firm Symphogen by another €20m, and Danica has invested in the firm for the first time.

Symphogen, which is developing antibody therapeutics to treat cancer and infectious and autoimmune diseases, said it had just closed an expansion of its previous €100m financing.

The extra financing comprised a €141m placement of preferred stock to a group of existing investors.

PKA and Danish company Novo led the financing round, investing €20m each.

Danica Pension has now also invested in the company by participating with its pre-financing ownership share of the additional financing, Symphogen said.

Michael Nelleman Pedersen, PKA’s CIO, said: “Since our initial investment in 2011, Symphogen has delivered to our expectations, and this additional investment provides unprecedented financial strength to develop and bring innovative cancer products to the market.”

In early 2011, PKA invested around €19m in Symphogen.