DENMARK - Major Danish pension fund ATP has reported an investment return of 5.3% for the first nine months of this year, as profits were boosted by the performance of its domestic equities.

This result compares with a return of 4.8% reported for the same period in 2006. In absolute terms, the market return on ATP's investment portfolio was DKK19.3bn (€2.58bn), compared with DKK17.3bn reported in the year-earlier period.

"The profit was driven, in particular, by ATP's portfolio of domestic equities,         generating a return of DKK8.4bn, or 18.3%," the fund said, reporting its interim results.

"Investments in real estate, unlisted equities and commodities also produced good returns," it added.

Total assets for the ATP Group rose to DKK441.4bn at the end of the third quarter, from DKK415.9bn at the same time the year before.

"From an investment standpoint, 2007 has been quite a turbulent year," said Lars Rohde, ATP's CEO.

"Our financial results are, however, very satisfactory," he continued. "The bottom line shows a profit of DKK 11.4bn and thanks to the increase in ATP's reserves, we are now able to raise present and future pensions."

The ATP Group profit of DKK11.4bn for the period added to the group's bonus potential, which totaled DKK81.7bn at the end of the third quarter, the fund announced. This allowed it to increase all present and future pensions by 2% as at January 1, 2008, it said.

Looking ahead to the rest of this year, ATP said it expected positive price trends to continue. In the equities market, this would be driven by expectations that good earnings prospects would continue, as that pricing for the asset class would be reasonable relative to bonds.

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