NETHERLANDS - SPW, the €4.6bn pension fund for housing corporations, reported a negative  return on investments of -4.5% during the first quarter. 

The result -  0.4% short of  the scheme's benchmark - was mainly attributed to the performance of its equity portfolio, which showed a negative return of -14.8%, it said. 

SPW's best returning asset class was alternatives, with a yield of 1.3%. This result was mainly driven by a 9.1% return on commodities, because of the rising oil and food prices. Private equity and hedge funds returned -1% and 0.5% respectively. 

The scheme's fixed income portfolio returned 0.9%, while its property investments yielded 0.5%, it added. 

However, its interest hedge - through interest swaps - contributed 1.6% to the overall result amidst decreasing market interest rates, SPW made clear. 

The pension fund's cover ratio at March-end was approximately 128%, which is a drop of 11%. 

Elsewhere, the €1.9bn pension fund of applied technical research institute TNO reported first quarter returns of -5%. 

TNO's funding ratio decreased by 12% to 122% during the first three months, which is slightly above the required minimum cover ratio of 121%, it indicated. 

However, its returns in April had increased to 1.4%, while its funding ratio had risen to 126%, according to the scheme.

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