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Nordic roundup: Finnish pension solvency, AP6, Ilmarinen, Storebrand

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Finnish employee pension institutions saw their solvency levels rise in the first three months of this year, even though the investment returns they generated in the period had been lower than a year before.

Data published by the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) showed the solvency ratio for employee pension institutions averaged 29.1% in the first quarter, up from 28.4% at the end of December. 

The risk-based solvency position also strengthened to 2.2 from 2.1 over the same period, the authority said, adding that the rise in the average risk level of investment portfolios had come to a halt.

Returns on investment for the institutions, however, stood at an average of 1.6% in the first quarter, compared with 2.6% at the same time last year, said FIN-FSA.

The figures include private sector employee pension institutions such as pension insurers and pension funds and foundations, but not former local government pension fund Keva or the State Pension Fund (VER).

Meanwhile, Sweden’s AP6, Finland’s Ilmarinen and Norway’s Storebrand have all invested in Norwegian business software and services company Visma through co-investments, as the company broadens its shareholder base.

Visma said that, under its new shareholder structure, KKR would reduce its stake to 31.3% from 76%, Hg Capital would sell its 16% stake but re-invest with a new fund bringing its ownership to 31.3%, and Cinven would come in as a new investor with 31.3%.

Remaining shares will be held by Visma’s management.

Several Nordic investors will co-invest with the private equity partners, including Ilmarinen and Storebrand.

AP6, Sweden’s sixth AP pension buffer fund, said it was investing via Hg Capital’s Fund VII, buying an ownership stake of around 1.6% in Visma.

The pension fund said: “AP6’s investment is in line with the strategy of investing primarily along with other industrial and financial partners.”

AP6, which only invests in private equity, declined to say how much the deal was worth.

But it did say the business was valued at NOK21bn (€2.6bn), which would suggest the investment cost around NOK300m.

In other news, AMF Fastigheter, the real estate arm of Swedish pension fund AMF, said it had sold its last remaining Gothenburg property as it sharpened its focus on Stockholm’s property market.

AMF Fastigheter said it sold office property Gårda 13:6, located in the Gårda area of Sweden’s second city, for around SEK950m (€105m) to Niam.

It said this was the last property it still owned in Gothenburg, and that its real estate ownership would now be concentrated in the Stockholm region.

Fredrik Ronvall, head of transactions at AMF Real Estate, said: “Instead of building up our own administrative organisation in Gothenburg, we have now decided to focus our investments on the Stockholm region.”

He said Stockholm was one of Europe’s fastest growing cities and the pension fund expected it to develop strongly in the future. 

“One of AMF’s main driving forces is to revitalise and develop Stockholm, and we are doing this in close cooperation with the Stockholm city council and other property owners,” Ronvall said.

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