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.

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