EUROPE - Skagen Fonder, the largest foreign manager within the Swedish premium based state pension system PPM, is considering withdrawing its funds from the system.

Skagen, with around half a million members and assets of SEK10bn (€1bn) invested in PPM, is unhappy with the a number of recent fund changes and transfer regulations, which forces it to have a high liquidity level in order to handle the large volume of buy and sell orders.

Skagen said it does not oppose transfer rights, but if the situation does not improve the board has decided to delist all its funds from PPM in June next year.

Pensionsmyndigheten, the Swedish pensions authority, is acknowledged of the criticism, but is currently referring the matter Pensionsgruppen, the cross-party pensions working group.

However, it is argued that the authority has the mandate to start charging for fund changes, in order to discourage frequent transfers.

Because of the September's national elections, it is expected that the members of the working group will modify the timetable for currently planned reforms.

Meanwhile, the board of Gjensidige, the Norwegian pension and insurance provider, has decided to list on the Oslo Stock Exchange by the end of the year, providing market conditions are good.

The decision to list was taken two years ago but because of the financial crises these plans were put on hold. Gjensidige plans to sell 40% of its shares to external investors.

Finally, a number of Swedish life and pensions providers including Alecta and AMF, released their Q3 numbers during the week.

Länsförsäkringar's total return for its traditional products was 5.7% during the period, while premium income increased as well as new sales.

Assets under management now total SEK155bn with a solvency ratio of 127%, down from 140% in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Alecta saw total returns of 7% and reports a solvency ratio of 151%. Alecta has also completed its operational savings programme of cutting costs by SEK150m in since last year.

Cost as a ratio of assets under management has fallen to 0.19%, compared to 0.24% for the same period last year.

AMF, returned 8% for the first nine months. Premium income increased to SEK15.1bn, up from SEK13.2bn for the same period last year.

Operational costs as a ratio of AUM has also fallen to 0.16% from 0.21%. Assets under management total SEK365bn and its solvency ratio remains one of the highest in the industry at 216%.

Skandia returned 6.7% for the three months of the year, with premium income up to SEK8.4bn from SEK7.9bn over the same period last year.

New sales rose 10% to SEK1.5bn, while operational costs shrank by 9% to SEK1bn and its solvency ratio is up by 3% to 160%.

SEB's life arm SEB Lrygg Liv saw record profits in Q3 of SEK1.68bn, an increase of 9% as a result of good performance and increased sales. It manages a total of SEK292.6bn.

Its rival Nordea saw returns of 3.2%, but gross premium income was down by 10% to SEK1.18bn compared to the second quarter but up 12% compared to the same period last year. The quarter on quarter fall was a result of lower sales. Nordea's assets under management total €42.9bn.

SPP, the pension provider owned by Storebrand, the Norwegian insurance and pension company, saw profits return to positive territory with SEK368bn, having made a loss in the previous quarter.