Sweden’s Kyrkans Pensionskassa scooped up more than half a billion kronor of equities and real estate after asset prices markets plummeted in March, and has divested the last of its hedge fund investments, according to its latest interim report.

In the report released yesterday, chief executive Carl Cederberg said the Swedish church pension fund took advantage of dramatic market falls in the early stages of the European COVID-19 crisis to buy assets cheaply, reasoning that markets normalise sooner or later.

“What is certain is that we do return to a ‘normal situation’ even if we can’t know how long the uncertainty will last,” he said.

Because of this thesis, he said Kyrkans Pensionskassa bought SEK575m (€56m) of equities and unencumbered real estate at the end of March.

“Since the market bottom of 23 March, the Stockholm stock exchange has risen almost 40% and both credit and government bond markets have performed strongly,” Cederberg said.

In the January-to-June report, Kyrkans Pensionskassa also said it had now divested the last hedge fund investment it owned, having sold its entire investment in the hedge fund Nordkinn in April for SEK235bn.

Among other major transactions during the six-month period, the fund said it made a new infrastructure investment, committing SEK700m to Infranode II, a fund run by the Swedish firm which it said invested across the Nordic region and held assets in energy, transport, digital and social infrastructure.

Kyrkans Pensionskassa reported a 0.9% loss on investments in the six-month period, although total assets grew slightly, rising to SEK20.87bn at the end of June from SEK20.84bn at the close of 2019.