SWEDEN - Skandia Liv, the life and pensions insurer, returned 6.7% for the first nine months of the year as a result of its high real estate holdings, which posted returns of 8.9% for the period.

In addition, Swedish equities also added to the performance, as did European equities. However, the strengthening krona reduced the benefit of the rise in European stocks, the company said.

At the same time, Handelsbanken Liv, the life and pensions arm of the Swedish banking group, saw profits increase by SEK355m (€38m) to SEK3.6bn for the third quarter.

One of the reasons cited for the lift was the reduction of credit losses.

Handelsbanken has been successful in moving customers to fund solutions, which do not offer any performance guarantees, away from traditional insurance products.

Assets under management for its funds rose by SEK1bn, while traditional insurance products fell by the same amount.

Total assets under management increased by 14% to SEK72bn during the period.

Handelsbanken's products are now eligible for selection in the ITP system, the supplementary occupational pension system for white-collar employees, which has boosted assets.

Meanwhile, Swedbank's insurance arm saw its premium income increase by 14% to SEK15.8bn during the first nine months of the year. 

Assets under management rose to SEK93bn as at the end of September, a 22% increase compared with the same period last year and 16% higher than at the end of last year.

Swedbank's traditional pension products returned 6.3% for the first nine months of the year.

AI Pensions, the pension fund for architects and engineers, also saw premium income increase by 7% to SEK122m. Return on investments was 6.7% for the period.

In other news, AP7's board has delayed its decision to replace its chief executive following Peter Norman's move into politics. Richard Gröttheim remains the acting chief executive.

The board wanted time to consider the type of leadership they were looking for and is expected to make the decision at the next board meeting at the beginning of December.