NETHERLANDS - Returns on equity and fixed income have largely contributed to returns of 5.1% of postal provider TNT's pension fund during the third quarter, it announced.

Real estate yielded 6%, whilst commodities showed negative returns of 16.1%, it said.

TNT's equity investments rose by 5.5%, which led to total returns during the first nine months of 8%. The results were mainly driven by equity in the United States, emerging markets and Europe, it explained.

According to the scheme, the decreased fear for inflation led to a drop of the nominal interest, causing returns of 3.3% on fixed income, mainly from emerging markets. "Because of the decrease of the real interest rates, inflation-linked bonds yielded 3.7%," it stated.

The negative returns on commodities were mainly due to the price drop of crude oil, TNT explained. "Moreover, the hurricane season passed without problems, tensions in the Middle East disappeared and gas prices decreased."

The decreased interest rates made TNT's pension liabilities rise more steeply than the investment results, causing a drop of the coverage ratio from 135% to 131%.

The scheme's assets under management rose to €4.3bn during the third quarter, it said.

TNT Pension Fund is managed by TKP Pensioen, a subsidiary of insurer Aegon Netherlands. TKP acts as a pensions provider, and offers administration, asset management and advisory services to pension funds.

The Groningen-based provider carries out schemes for seven companies with 220,000 workers in total.