Canada Pension Assets Cross C$200 Billion for First Time

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the nation’s largest pension fund manager, said assets rose above C$200 billion ($182 billion) for the first time, as returns increased 5.9 percent in the fiscal third quarter.

Assets rose 4.5 percent to C$201.5 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31 from the previous quarter, the Toronto-based asset manager said today in a statement. Investment income was C$11.1 billion.

“The exceptional performance of public equities contributed to the Fund’s third quarter results,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Wiseman said in the statement.

The fund’s public-market investments gained as stock markets rallied, with the U.S. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index surging 30 percent in 2013.

Canada Pension’s holdings of developed foreign equities rose 22 percent to C$71.2 billion in the quarter from the same period last year, with its allocation to the sector rising to 35.4 percent from 33.7 percent. The fund last year acquired a 15 percent stake in ORPEA SA, a European nursing-home operator, for 320.8 million euros ($439.3 million).

Emerging Markets

The fund’s allocation to emerging-market equities dropped to 6.2 percent in the quarter from 7 percent last year while fixed-income holdings fell to 33.3 percent of the portfolio from 33.5 percent.

Canada Pension’s results were in line with the 6.1 percent median return for public Canadian pension funds in the three-month period ended Dec. 31, according to Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Investor & Treasury Services unit.

Canada Pension manages retirement savings for 18 million people in every province except Quebec.