FRANCE  - Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), France’s national pension reserve, has seen its strong growth of 2009 continue into the first quarter of 2010, posting a return of 2.6% for the three-month period.

FRR’s total assets were €34.5bn at the end of March 2010, up almost 25% compared to the €26bn under management at the same time last year.

In a statement, Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites accepted that markets were beginning to recover but warned of the instability within the euro-zone.

“The first quarter was marked both by the confirmation that the global economy was undergoing a modest recovery, which supported the equity markets, and by volatility due in particular to concerns related to strategies for consolidating public finances, particularly within the euro-zone,” the statement said.

FRR has continued a strategy that saw it invest almost 55% in performance assets and the remaining 45% in fixed income and money markets. Most of the 55% portion was invested in equities, along with a 5% exposure to commodities and another 3.2% invested in real estate assets.

FRR recently named Philippe Aurain as its new chief investment officer, following the departure of Nicolas Sobczak (See earlier IPE article: FRR promotes Aurain to CIO).