NETHERLANDS - The Spoorwegpensioenfonds SPF has booked negative returns of -2.5% during the second quarter of 2006, the €11.1bn scheme reported.

After currency hedging, equity returned –4.1%. Due to rising rates, fixed interest yielded –1.4%, the industry-wide railways pension fund said. Real estate returned 1.7%, with currency hedging contributing 0.7%.

During the first half year, SPF returned 0.7%. Its funding ratio based on markets rates rose to 176%, due to a rate’s rise to 4.5%. Its average returns over the past 10 and 5 years are 8% and 4% respectively.

SPF’s investments in equity, fixed income and real estate are 55%, 33% and 10% respectively.

At the same time, the €2.2bn public transport pension fund SPOV, whose assets are also managed by SPF Management, announced negative results of -2.2%. Equity was the main contributor, with returns of –4.3% after currency hedging.

According to the industry-wide scheme, fixed interest returned –1.3%, “due to rising market rates”. Real estate yielded 2.2%, with a currency hedging of 0.8%. SPOV’s returns over the first half of 2006 and the past five years are –0.7% and 3% respectively.

SPOV has invested 39% of its assets in equity, 53% in fixed interest and 5% in real estate. Its investments in other asset classes have increased from 1% to 3%. Its present coverage ratio is 138%.

Meanwhile, the pension fund of postal operator TNT also reported a decrease of its assets, due to second quarter returns of –2.2%. The €4.1bn scheme’s investments in equity and fixed interest yielded –4.4% and –1.2% respectively. “The rising market rates have led to negative returns of 0.6% of inflation-linked bonds,” it said.

The decrease in returns was partly compensated by a 1.2% yield at real estate, and 5.8% returns at commodities. The last asset class performed well, due to rising prices for energy and industrial metals, TNT indicated.

TNT’s assets are run by Aegon subsidiary TKP Pensioen, The assets are sub-divided in equity (46.8%), fixed interest (40.8%), real estate 8.4% and commodities (4.0%). TKP Pensioen also runs TNT’s pension administration.

The postal scheme’s coverage ratio has risen to 135%.