SWEDEN - AP6, one of the Swedish national buffer funds, returned 9.4% for the full year 2010, which compares well with the target return of 6.5%.

The result equals SEK1.7bn (€192m), which Adam Laurèn, acting chief executive, described as "satisfactory".

In other news, Swedish life companies showed a net sale of investments during the fourth quarter, but continued to buy stocks and shares.

A contributing factor to the net sale of investments was the sell-off of international fixed income, denominated in foreign currency, according to a report from Statistics Sweden and Finansinspektionen, the financial regulator.

Total assets of the life companies stood at SEK2.95trn at the end of fourth quarter, which is an increase of SEK26bn from the third quarter of SEK226bn compared with the fourth quarter 2009.

The stocks and share purchases totalled SEK1.36trn, an increase by SEK83bn compared with the third quarter.

The net purchase of international equities amounted to SEK22bn during the fourth quarter.

The investment in international equities was valued at SEK307bn and Swedish equities at SEK311bn.

Meanwhile, local authority of Strömsund has taken a decision to create a pension foundation to take the pensions liabilities off its balance sheet. 

The liabilities stand at SEK434m, and since 2006, it has been shown on the balance sheet.

Some liabilities have been insured, but approximately SEK67m will be put into the foundation.

An investment policy is yet to be drafted, and the task will be handed to the board of the fund, which is yet to be selected. 

The final size of the foundation is also yet to be determined, but the local authority aims to put in some SEK25m a year into it.

Strömsund is one the latest of many local authorities, such as Umeå and Härnösand, that have decided to take this step.

Kramfors is another local authority that has set up a foundation. It has pension liabilities of SEK625m, and, to start, SEK30m will be paid into the foundation.

Lastly, Sweden's national defined contribution system returned 12.1% for the full year 2010.

Total assets in the system amounted to SEK408bn.

Some 99% of savers, or 6.1m people, in premium pension system, managed by Pensionsmyndigheten, the Swedish Pensions Agency, had positive returns during 2010.

The majority, or 2.65m savers, achieved returned 4-6%, and 1.85m saw their investments increase by 2-4%.

Some 66,000 had returns of more than 12%, whereas 12,000 saw losses of more than 2%.