Caisse earns two per cent return on investment, beating benchmark

MONTREAL – The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec says it gained a two per cent return on investment in the first six months of the year, above its benchmark portfolio.

At the end of June, the pension fund manager had $254.9 billion of net assets, up $1.6 billion from the end of December.

It said the results beat the 1.3-per-cent growth by its comparative portfolio.

Over the past five years, the weighted average annual return was 9.2 per cent, generating $86.8 billion in investment results.

The Caisse’s chief executive Michael Sabia said the global economy has led to more volatility in stock and currency markets over the last 12 months.

There has also been greater political instability in parts of the world, economic rebalancing in China, lower corporate profits in the U.S., and insufficient reforms in Europe.

“Faced with these uncertainties, our portfolio continues to be resilient and our goal remains the same: generate stable returns, less vulnerable to market highs or lows,” Sabia said in a statement.

In the first half of the year, the Caisse’s new infrastructure subsidiary hasinitiated a $5.5-billion public transportation project (pending environmental and government financial approval), invested in leading Australian and European companies, and opened offices in Mexico City and New Delhi.

Its real estate arm, Ivanhoe Cambridge, has pursued $3.4 billion in acquisitions, including several in key U.S. markets, and with Claridge to invest $100 million in Montreal-area projects.