DENMARK - Industriens Pension, the pension fund for the industrial sector in Denmark, benefited from a 15.4% return on Danish stocks in the first quarter of 2010, with its global equities portfolio delivering half that (7.7%) in total.

Industriens Pension invests some DKK6.9bn (€927m) in Danish equities, making it one of the largest holders of Danish equities, but chief investment officer Jan Østergaard said the uncertainty in the financial markets had led the fund to reduce its risk and hold less than 30% in global equities.

The equity market rally between January and March 2010 helped boost the pension fund’s total return across all asset classes to 4.4%.

The only asset class that underperformed was real estate, which made a loss of 3.4% during the three months.

Industriens Pension said it used financial instruments, such as derivatives, to safeguard its reserves against interest-rate falls, enabling its reserves to stay intact during the financial crisis. Danish interest rates have fallen further in the first months of the year, but because of the hedge against interest rate risks, reserves have not been affected, it said.

Since its launch in 1993, Industriens Pension has returned, on average, 8.4% every year. In real terms this means that every DKK100 paid into the fund has grown to approximately DKK 300.