Quebec’s Caisse de Depot Posts 3.5% Return in First Half of 2012

Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Canada’s largest pension-fund manager, posted a 3.5 percent investment return in the first half of the year with gains in all its main asset classes.

The Caisse had C$5.4 billion ($5.46 billion) in investment income in the first half of the year, and depositors made net contributions of C$1.4 billion, the Montreal-based fund manager said today in a statement. Net assets rose to C$165.7 billion as of June 30 from C$159 billion on Dec. 31.

The results beat the 3.3 percent median return for Canadian pension funds during the first half, as estimated in a July report by RBC Investor Services. They fell short of the 3.7 percent return for the Caisse’s benchmark portfolio.

Private equity and publicly traded stocks drove the first- half performance, generating C$3 billion in investment income, the Caisse said. Equity investments returned 4.2 percent, compared with 2.6 percent for “inflation-sensitive” investments such as real estate and 2 percent for fixed income, the money manager said.

The Caisse oversees pensions for retirees in the French- speaking province of Quebec. It had about 37 percent of its assets each invested in publicly traded stocks and fixed income as of June 30.

To contact the reporter on this story: Frederic Tomesco in Montreal at tomesco@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net; Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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