FINLAND – Ilmarinen has increased exposure to Nordic equities at the expense of shares within its domestic market, the Finnish pension provider’s quarterly results reveal.

Reporting a return of 2% over the first three months of the year, aided largely by its equity holdings in the Americas, Asia and local Nordic region, it estimated that investments had boosted assets by €600m to a total of €30.4bn.

Commenting on the results, deputy chief executive Timo Ritakallio said: “Even though Finland and Europe’s economies are struggling at the moment, the short-term return outlook for pension investments remains quite good, and future pensions are secure.”

The fund has seen its share of domestic equity exposure steadily fall over the past few years, accounting for 40% of its €9bn entire equity portfolio in 2011, down to 35% of €11.3bn a year later and measuring just 31% of €11.4bn by March 2013.

Ilmarinen’s equity portfolio – separated into listed, unlisted and private equity – offered at 4.1% the highest overall returns of any asset class.

It said that listed equity outperformed the overall portfolio, returning 4.7% in the three months to March, compared with 1.7% in private equity and 2% for its unlisted holdings.

Its hedge fund investments performed similarly strong, returning 4.5%.

However, hedge funds sit within the larger, €1.6bn portfolio of other investments, which saw losses of 2.1%.

Fixed income, accounting for more than 45% of all investments, returned 1.1%, with minor losses of 0.4% incurred from its corporate bond holdings offset by stronger performance from the remainder of the portfolio.