Denmark’s Industriens Pension has posted a first-half return of 6.6% before pension returns tax, up from the 2.5% loss it reported for the same period last year, as domestic shares returned 20%.
Bonds also contributed positively to the result in the first half, the labour-market pension fund said, with corporate bonds producing 5.8% and government and mortgage bonds generating 4.6%.
Laila Mortensen, chief executive of Industriens Pension said 2014 had been a good year so far, and that the fund was relatively positive about the rest of the year.
“Growth prospects still look good, but the unrest in Russia and Ukraine and in many other parts of the world can of course create uncertainty on equities markets,” she said.
Danish equities have performed strongly relative to other European markets over the last three years, with the OMX Copenhagen index having doubled from around 300 in September 2011 to about 600 now.
By comparison, in the same period, the UK’s FTSE All Share index has risen to around 3,600 from about 2,700, and Germany’s DAX index has grown to around 9,300 from 5,200.
In other news, Danish labour-market pensions provider Sampension posted a 10.9% return in the January-to-June period for its traditional with-profits pensions, including interest-rate hedging, up from 3.8% the same time a year ago.
Unit-link pensions made returns of between 4.6% and 6.9% in the same period, it said. This compares with an average of 3.8% reported for these pensions in the first six months of 2013.
Sampension said it had brought costs down further to DKK201 (€26.90) per member from DKK212 in the first six months of 2013.
Contributions slipped to DKK3.9bn (€523m) in the period from DKK4.0bn in the year-earlier period.
Total assets under management rose to DKK220bn from DKK201bn.
In other news, the Danish pension fund for teachers, Lærernes Pension, produced a 7.7% first half return — up from the 0.5% return posted in the same period last year — with Danish equities outperforming the market by generating a 19.2% profit.
“The result is partly due to the rising prices of many of the higher-risk investments and partly down to the fall in interest rates in the first half of the year,” Lærernes said, reporting some interim results.
The best performing asset class was Danish shares, it said, followed by its long-dated government bonds — most of which are German — which produced 13.3%.
Contributions reached DKK2.22bn in the six-month period, bringing the pension fund back on track after the teachers’ lockout which took place in Denmark last spring and led to a marked fall in pension contributions, the fund said.
In the first six months of 2013, contributions were just DKK1.93bn.