SWEDEN - Folksam, the Swedish insurance and pension provider, has matched many of the Nordic players who were forced to claw back losses from 2008 and returned 10.3% for the full year 2009.

The climb to build a decent return was less onerous for Folksam than for some of its competitors, however, as Folksam was one of few institional investors who remained in the black in 2008, and returned 0.9%.

The boost in performance over the last year was prompted by a rebound in the equity markets and by a larger portfolio allocation to equities, according to Anders Sundström, chief executive of Folksam Group.

As a result of its strong gains, Folksam is doubling the account dividend it pays to members to 9% from January 2010. It paid only 5% in 2009 and just 1% in 2008.

The solvency ratio at Folksam also rose to 149% in 2009, up from 117% the previous year and its consolidation rate was 113%, compared to 105% the year before. The solvency ratio shows Folksam’s asset value  in relation to the guaranteed commitments to customers. It consolidation ratio refers to the asset value in relation to both guaranteed and unguaranteed commitments to customers.

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