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PPM chooses new SRI fund

SWEDEN - The SEK1.3bn (€140m) Swedish Premium Pension Authority (PPM) has appointed four new managers for its equity portfolio, and among them is State Street for a socially-responsible investment (SRI) mandate.

Daniel Barr, head economist at PPM told IPE the scheme will invest in Swedbank's Robur Sverigefond Mega, SPP's Equity fund Global Sustainability, State Street's SRI World fund and Gartmore's Focus fund.

Elaborating on PPM's choice for the SRI allocation, Barr said: "It is an SRI fund with a negative screening which means that they exclude companies that violate international conventions Sweden has signed."

He added: "There is a quite widespread ethical standard here in Sweden, where you may exclude between 20 and 40 companies out of a global investment universe of 1500 to 2000 companies."

PPM has adopted the same policy developed by the Swedish default fund AP7.

"We think that the same ethical standards that the Swedish government and parliament have decided on should also be applicable in this product," said Barr.

The fund was aided in its decision process by Wassum Investment Consulting.

The fund is also looking to appoint another active global equity manager, while also developing the portfolio, and will now consider the fixed income mandate for the next year to come.

According to Barr, 73% of the portfolio is invested in Swedish fixed income, while the rest is invested in equities, two-thirds of which are global equities.

The fund will not make any changes to the fixed income/equity split in the near future, added Barr.

Elsewhere, the Norwegian ministry of finance has approved Norwegian firm Storebrand's acquisition of the SPP Group.

On November 16, Storebrand received the ministry's decision in relation to its NOK13.6bn (€1.7bn) takeover bid of Swedish pension group SPP.

Last month, Storebrand got its two-thirds majority at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Oslo last night.

Almost 83% of Storebrand's shareholders backed the offer for SPP, the occupational pension branch of the Swedish Handelsbanken.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Carolyn Bandel on +44 (0)20 7261 4622 or email carolyn.bandel@ipe.com

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