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Finland’s Keva sees gains from equity, hedge fund investments

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Finland’s Keva has seen double-digit growth in its listed equity portfolio, with year-to-date returns up to 4.8%, according to its third-quarter results.

The fund, responsible for the pensions of local government workers, also saw its exposure to fixed income fall further after a second quarter of losses from its bond portfolio.

Chief executive Merja Ailus said the results – which saw assets under management increase by €1.3bn to €36.6bn – should be considered “very reasonable”, but struck a note of caution.

“We must not lose sight of the fact uncertainty still exists in the investment environment,” she said. ”On the other hand, we have not really seen a change in that environment since the onset of the financial crisis.”

CIO Ari Huotari added that, while the global economy has been showing signs of improvement, global capital markets are still being “overshadowed by concerns” over how central banks are squeezing liquidity.

Nonetheless, investment returns for the first nine months of the year improved to 4.8%, above the 3.8% return of the first quarter, or the 2.3% seen in the six months to June.

The rise was largely down to a strong performance by Keva’s listed equity and equity fund holdings, accounting for 38% of assets under management.

The portfolio returned 11.2%, outperforming all other asset classes.

Despite the 0.2% loss posted by the fund’s fixed income holdings – at the end of September accounting for 45.8% of assets compared with 47.6% in June – Keva’s small commodities portfolio saw the single-biggest loss of 3.6%, an improvement on the portfolio’s 7.5% loss for the first six months of the year.

Hedge fund investments worth around €1.2bn returned 7.1%, behind the 8.5% investment return by its private equity portfolio.

Real estate returned 3%.

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