August 17, 2012 / 7:44 PM / in 5 years

Caisse generates positive returns in first half of year

TORONTO (Reuters) - Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which manages major pension plans in the mostly French-speaking Canadian province, said on Friday it generated positive returns in the first half of 2012 despite turbulent markets and global economic malaise.

Montreal-based Caisse’s net assets were C$165.7 billion ($165.7 billion) as of June 30, up from C$159 billion on December 31, 2011.

During the six months, Caisse earned a 3.5 percent weighted average return on depositor funds. Depositors made a net contribution of C$1.4 billion in the period.

“Over a longer period, during the last three years, we have taken a cautious approach in an often highly volatile economic and financial climate,” said Chief Executive Michael Sabia, who warned that conditions will stay unpredictable for some time.

“We will continue to focus on our long-term objectives as we’re involved in a marathon, not a sprint,” he said.

The results in the first half of 2012 were driven primarily by the equity portfolio, which generated C$3 billion, accounting for 56 percent of the C$5.4 billion in net investment results. The fixed income arm, particularly Caisse’s bond and real estate debt portfolios, produced an additional C$1.2 billion.

As at June 30, the equity asset class represented 47 percent of the overall portfolio, with 37 percent in publicly traded securities and 10 percent in private equity.

The fund’s fixed income and inflation-sensitive investment asset classes that are much less volatile represented 37 percent and 14 percent of the portfolio, respectively.

($1 = 1.0000 U.S dollars)

Reporting by Euan Rocha

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