TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, one of the world's biggest pension funds, said on Friday investment returns grew in its fiscal third quarter as global equity markets strengthened.
Returns for the period, ended December 31, received an extra lift from one of the largest energy deals of 2012 - the acquisition of Canadian natural gas producer Progress Energy by Malaysian state oil company Petronas for C$5.17 billion ($5.16 billion).
CPPIB, which manages Canada's national pension fund, said it had made C$384 million in equity investments in Progress in 2010 and 2011. It sold these investments for C$780 million, when the Petronas-Progress deal closed late last year.
The fund manager said it ended the quarter with net assets of C$172.6 billion, up from C$170.1 billion at the end of the previous quarter.
"We continued to see solid returns this quarter due to strong increases in global public equity markets and income generated by the portfolio's private assets," CPPIB's chief executive, Mark Wiseman, said in a statement. "This quarter's results reflect the strength and capabilities of our diversified global platform, as all investment groups delivered gains."
CPPIB and its Canadian pension fund peers like the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec have been among the world's most active dealmakers in recent years, making major bets in Canada and abroad. The investments have focused largely on real estate, natural resources and infrastructure.
($1 = 1.0011 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Steve Orlofsky