NETHERLANDS - Equity and real estate were the main drivers behind the 2006 returns of 8.5% for the postal pension fund TNT, the €4.4bn scheme said.

During the fourth quarter, equity performed well by returning 6.8% and contributing significantly to the year result of 15.2%. Emerging markets scored 11.8%, it added.

Listed real estate yielded almost 14% in the fourth quarter, leading to year-round returns of 18.5%.

The recent 0.1% rise in the long-term interest rates, is the main cause for a negative result of 0.4% in fixed income investments. Mainly due to the drop of oil prices, commodities' returns  came to a negative 19.3% in 2006, TNT reported.

The scheme has invested 48.7% of its assets in equity. Its investments in fixed income, property and commodities are 38.1%, 10.2% and 3% respectively.

Mainly as a result of the interest rates' rise, TNT's coverage ratio has increased from 120% to 135%, it said.

To decrease its susceptibility to interest rates movements, the scheme entered into interest swaps, which account for around 0.9% of TNT's absolute returns, it pointed out.