SWITZERLAND - The new Pensionskasse for Swiss transport companies reported a 3.98% return for the second half of 2010, its first six months of operation.

In 2009, several companies in the Ascoop multi-employer scheme decided to leave the heavily underfunded Pensionskasse and launch a collective scheme with stricter funding rules.

The Ascoop scheme has since been dissolved and 66 companies have joined the new Pensionskasse Symova which has now published its first year-end report, which covers the period between July and December 2010.

In it, the CHF1.8bn (€1.5bn) fund noted that the performance for 2010 was 4.82%, once returns from predecessor Ascoop were taken into account.

In the second half of the year Symova beat its own benchmark by 0.25 percentage points, mainly because the fund was not invested in foreign bonds and was overweight on domestic real estate, it said.

For the first quarter of 2011, the fund once again reported an outperformance of the benchmark with a 1.36% return compared to 0.99% for the benchmark.

As per end-March 2011 Symova held 4.1% in cash, 8% in domestic equities, 15.8% in foreign equities, 4.3% in hedged commodities.

Additionally, 2.46% were invested in emerging market equities, with an unusually large allocation of 31.8% to Swiss real estate and the remaining 32.9% invested in Swiss bonds.

Ascoop's investments were close to the fund's strategic asset allocation (SAA), with exception of its lack of investment in foreign bonds, to which 7% of total funds may be allocated.

The average funding level over all companies in the scheme stood 92.71%.