Austria’s APK Pensionskasse and its provident fund, APK Vorsorgekasse, have closed 2023 with equal returns of 7.9%, above the average performance of the country’s schemes.

APK Pensionskasse “successfully closed” 2023 with an average investment result of 7.9% (unaudited), from -10.6% recorded in 2022, the scheme said.

On average, the country’s eight Pensionkassen have returned 6.42% last year, according to figures published earlier this year by the Fachverband der Pensions- und Vorsorgekassen, the Austrian association established to represent the interests of pension and provident funds.

APK Vorsorgekasse’s returns, also unaudited, were positive last year compared to those of its peers, it added. Provident funds in Austria achieved positive results in the past financial year at 4.62% on average, according to the association.

“After a difficult 2022 in capital markets, we are particularly pleased to have benefited with above-average [returns] in 2023,” said Manfred Brenner, chief investment officer of APK Pensionskasse. 

Brenner added that, looking at the market in Austria, uncertainty was high especially at the beginning of 2023, and as a result many investors remained cautious, benefiting only in part from the positive market development playing out eventually last year.

“With our investment approach, we appeared to be – as in most previous years – more flexible than other market players,” he said.

Last year, APK Pensionskasse, which manages assets of around €7bn, tactically increased its allocation to alternatives, and slightly increased its allocation to government bonds, cutting its exposure to European equities.

The scheme believes that interesting opportunities will emerge in private debt in the next two to four years, Brenner told IPE.

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