Finnish pension investors have suffered low returns as a result of “very unsettled” capital markets, according to Keva.

The local government pension provider saw losses of 0.8% over the first three months of 2016, partly down to a 4.4% loss from its equity holdings, while pensions mutual Etera managed to return 0.1% over the same period.

Tapani Hellstén, Keva’s acting managing director, said investment performance was in line with the fund’s expectations, although his CIO Ari Huotari said first-quarter returns were “meagre”.

“The capital markets have been very unsettled, and we have performed reasonably well in investment operations in the middle of the storm,” Hellstén added.

Apart from its equity holdings, only Keva’s hedge funds saw losses, returning -2.9%.

Private equity and real estate holdings both returned less than 1%, with property achieving the second-best performance of 0.7%.

Keva’s best-performing asset class was fixed income, which at the end of March accounted for more than 46% of its €44bn in assets.

Stefan Björkman, managing director at the €5.7bn Etera, said investment income was “stable” throughout the first quarter.

Unlike Keva, Etera said property was its best-performing asset class, returning 2% over the quarter, compared with 0.5% from its fixed income portfolio.

Equity losses were lower, with a return of -1%, while alternatives also lost a comparable -1.2%.

However, Keva’s Huotari struck a note of caution when discussing future returns.

“The underlying problem appears to be that none of the central [bank] operators seems to offer an intelligible way out of the current situation,” he said.

“In the coming years, we might have an even bumpier ride ahead than we expected.”