Danish labour-market pension fund Industriens Pension posted a 5.8% return in the first six months of this year, down slightly from the 6.6% it produced in the same period last year, and said it had managed to beat its benchmark for shares by cutting exposure to equities.
Reporting interim results, Industriens Pension said that in absolute terms, the investment return rose to DKK7.39bn (€1bn) from January to June 2015, compared to DKK7.53bn in the same period last year.
Industriens Pension, whose total assets grew to DKK147.1bn by the end of June from DKK142.3bn at the end of December 2014, said it had reduced its holdings of equities over the course of the first half of the year.
The pension fund said it had taken this action against the background of the strong rise in share prices at the beginning of the year and as a result of the slowing growth in world economies.
It was the adjustment – along with an appropriate selection of shares and bonds – that had led to the investment return being 1.1 percentage points higher than overall market growth, it said.
Laila Mortensen, chief executive of the pension fund, said: “This active investment strategy has created outperformance of more than DKK1.5bn after costs in the first half.”
Investments in private equity, infrastructure and property had also done well, she said.
Contributions increased to DKK3.62bn in the first half from DKK3.33bn in the same period last year, and membership increased slightly to 397,044 from 396,403, after a big decline of more than 4,600 in the previous 12-month period.
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the pension fund predicted a total investment return for 2015 of between 6% and 8%.
This forecast was based on developments since the end of June and current expectations for the remaining months of the year, it said, cautioning that it all depended how financial markets developed.