UPDATE 1-Canada's CPPIB says current market fertile for deal-making

Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:14pm EST
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* CPPIB achieved Q3 gross investment returns of 4.6 pct

* CPPIB ended Q3 with net assets of C$282.6 billion (Adds CEO comment on global economy, deal outlook)

By Matt Scuffham

TORONTO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, one of the world's biggest dealmakers, said volatile global markets are providing the best opportunities for long-term investors since the 2007-09 financial crisis.

CPPIB, which manages Canada's national pension fund, on Wednesday reported gross investment returns of 4.6 percent in its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31. The results were driven by a strong performance from its global equities portfolio, as the weak Canadian dollar increased the value of overseas investments.

Canada's biggest public pension fund said it ended Dec. 31 with net assets of C$282.6 billion, compared with C$272.9 billion at the end of the previous quarter.

Chief Executive Mark Wiseman said CPPIB was benefiting from investments it made during the financial crisis while others headed for the exit. He said the current market provides similar opportunities.

"It's periods like this that we find fertile for investing. I would say for us this is the most interesting investment environment we've seen since the wake of the financial crisis," Wiseman told Reuters.

Like other Canadian pension funds, the CPPIB has diversified into alternative asset classes, such as infrastructure and real estate, and from investing across different geographies. (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)