EUROPE - Folksam Liv, the life and pensions provider, returned 1.2% in the first quarter 2011, down from 2.7% during the corresponding period last year.

Folksam attributed the performance to its strategic holdings in Swedbank, the Swedish banking group.

Folksam's solvency ratio was 156% compared with 148% in the first quarter 2010.

Assets under management also increased to SEK113bn (€12.6bn) from SEK106bn.

Meanwhile, KPA, also owned by Folksam, returned 0.4% during the first three months of the year, compared with 3.5% for the same period last year. 

KPA's solvency ratio was also up by 11% to 183%, while assets under management increased by SEK11bn to SEK74bn.

Rival SEB Trygg Liv Gamla, the life arm of banking group SEB, returned 1.2% in the first quarter.

The result, which compares well to competitors, was a result of a well-diversified portfolio, with a large proportion in unlisted equities and real estate.

The solvency ratio was 184% at the end of March.

Returns at SPP, the life and pensions provider owned by Norway's Storebrand, amounted to 0.44% in its defined contribution product and 0.83% in its defined benefit product.

Operating results showed gains of SEK319m for the first quarter, compared with SEK139m for the same period last year.

Low sales volumes in the collective occupational pensions area had a negative effect on sales, but sales in other areas increased by 23%.

Assets under management increased by SEK2bn to SEK140bn for the quarter.

Out of total premium payments, 50% comes from fund products, compared with 39% for the same period last year, as the company has been focusing on its fund sales.