FRANCE - The French pensions reserve fund, the Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites, made a return of 9.46% on the assets it had with asset managers in 2004.

"The return on assets under mandated management was 9.46%, reflecting positive capital market trends in the second half of 2004," the fund said.

"The equity markets, which were the executive board's preferred focus of activation as the portfolio was being invested, were particularly well oriented."

It pointed out that not all assets were under mandated management. At the end of 2004 just €6.371bn - out of a total portfolio of €19.256 - was with managers.

Total income from investments was €669.9m - which comprised €363.3m from activated mandates and €306.6m from cash deposits not yet invested in mandates. In total, it made a return of 3.98% on its assets.

As at the end of March 2005, the FRR had grown to €19.655bn - which now includes €11bn in mandates and €8.654 in cash or near-cash assets.

It has 46% in equities, 10% in bonds under mandate and 44% in non-mandated cash assets. The fund gained €2.16bn in additional funds contributed in 2004.

It said that an additional cash payment of €3.06bn owed by the gas and electrical industries to the CNAV (Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Vieillesse), which the FRR has been entrusted to manage, will be made by June 30 2005.