Asga Pensionskasse, the Swiss multi-employer pension fund, has posted a 5.25% return in 2023, a result mainly pushed by its global equities portfolio.

The pension fund’s global equity investments returned 12.28% last year, with Swiss equities returning 6.01%, funds investments 5.19%, Swiss direct real estate 2.09%, and allocations via foundations 1.68%, according to the scheme’s publication AsgaKontakt.

Falling inflation below expectations towards the end of last year had a positive impact on markets, with equities, bonds and mortgages contributing to the positive annual result, the scheme explained.

The “losers”, as Asga called asset classes posting negative returns in 2023, were investments in foreign real estate (-15.13%), and drawdown management (-12.62%).

Increasing interest rates and a volatile market environment for office properties, with a trend towards home office especially in the US, hit real estate investments abroad.

Sergio Bortolin at Asga

In Switzerland property valuations came under pressure, but direct real estate investments showed resilience with stable rental income, it added.

The scheme’s assets under management grew year-on-year as a result of its positive performance to CHF26.48bn (€27.5bn) from CHF24.19bn in 2022, it said. The funding ratio went up to 113.74% as of the end of January this year.

In 2023 “not everything was gold” but led to a “solid level” in terms of its funding ratio, in addition to exceeding its growth targets, said chief executive officer Sergio Bortolin, commenting on the results in AsgaKontakt.

The pension fund continues to make efforts to clean up its portfolio, meeting its decarbonisation targets for its bonds, equites and direct Swiss real estate investments, it said.

Excluding coal companies from its investment universe has slowed down returns in 2023 compared to the previous year, but overall the return effect was slightly positive, it added, without giving out further details.

Asga will publish details on investment results in its financial statement on 26 April.

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