Quebec pension fund manager Caisse posts strong returns in 2014

Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:00am EST
 
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By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Caisse de depot et Placement du Quebec reported weighted average returns of 12 percent for 2014 on Wednesday, as Canada's second-largest pension fund turned to tangible assets like real estate and infrastructure for stability and improved yields.

The Caisse, which manages pension plans in the mostly French-speaking province, reported net assets of C$225.9 billion ($181.72 billion) as of December 31, 2014, compared with C$200.1 billion as of December 31, 2013.

"Our portfolio has shown its resilience in the face of increased volatility brought about by the collapse in oil prices, the continued decline in interest rates and the strong appreciation of the U.S. dollar," Michael Sabia, Caisse president and chief executive, said in a statement.

In the last four years, the Caisse has shifted its investment strategy toward less-liquid assets like infrastructure and real estate for higher returns. The real estate wing of the Caisse, Ivanhoe Cambridge, is one of the world's 10 largest real estate investors with C$42.7 billion in total assets.

"Our strategy is clear: tangible assets and projects, high-quality securities with more stability and less risk, increased exposure to global growth and a meaningful impact in Quebec," Sabia said.

($1 = 1.2431 Canadian dollars) (Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Nick Zieminski)