SWEDEN - AP2, Sweden's second buffer fund, today declared assets of SEK216.8bn (€23.8bn) - an SEK26.2bn increase over the previous year.

Return on the total portfolio in 2006 was 13%, compared with an average annual return on investment of 6.3% since the fund's inception seven years ago.

Head of corporate governance Carl Rosén attributed the fund's performance to successful management of foreign equities and low exposure to foreign currency risk. The level of exposure is only 11.7% of the fund.

The fund also reported that it had increased the proportion of its portfolio managed on quantitative models from 11% to 31%.

"It's a management style that's very valuable as a complement to the other [qualitative] management style. It won't replace it," Rosén said.

The results follow the news yesterday that AP2 - with the three other buffer funds - had set up an ethics committee to review their holdings in overseas equities.

Rosén said the setting up of a committee to review overseas equity holdings reflected the funds' collective commitment to environmental issues and engagement.

"What we've seen is that to be successful you have to have co-ordinated resources. Co-ordination gives a better result," he said.