UPDATE 1-Canada's HOOPP boosted by strong private equity returns

Thu Mar 3, 2016 10:36am EST
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* HOOPP achieves return of 5.1 percent in 2015

* Net assets grow to C$63.9 billion at end of 2015 (Adds comment from chief executive, further details)

TORONTO, March 3 (Reuters) - The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, one of Canada's largest public pension plans, said it achieved a return of 5.1 percent on its investments in 2015, with private equity investments the biggest contributor.

HOOPP said net assets grew to C$63.9 billion at the end of 2015 from C$60.8 billion a year earlier, and that its funded position was 122 percent at the end of 2015, up 7 percent from 115 percent in 2014.

"Even during a year of significant economic uncertainty, HOOPP remains fully funded, which means that we have sufficient resources to meet all of our current and future pension and benefit payments," said HOOPP Chief Executive Jim Keohane.

Research by RBC Investor & Treasury Services last month showed Canadian pension funds achieved a return of 5.4 percent on their investments in 2015. The funds have pursued a strategy of directly investing in assets globally, including in private equity, infrastructure and real estate.

Hoopp's private equity investments achieved a return of 17.7 percent in 2015.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Bernadette Baum)