TORONTO Feb 24 Caisse de depot et placement du
Quebec, Canada's second-biggest public pension fund, reported an
average return on its investments of 7.6 percent in 2016, a
lower return than the year before, reflecting challenging
The Caisse, which manages pension plans in the mostly
French-speaking province, said its net assets rose to C$271
billion ($207 billion) at the end of 2016, compared with C$248
billion at the end of 2015.
The performance showed a weakening trend, however. In 2015
the Caisse achieved an average return of 9.1 percent and in 2014
it achieved an average return of 12 percent.
"On the economic front, the fundamental issue remains the
same: slow global growth, exacerbated by low business
investment. At the same time, there are also significant
geopolitical risks," Chief Executive Michael Sabia said.
"Given the relative complacency of markets, we need to adopt
a prudent approach," he added.
Canada's biggest public pension plans have grown rapidly in
recent years through a strategy of directly investing in private
equity, infrastructure and real estate assets to diversify away
from public equity and fixed income markets.
Sabia said the Caisse would continue to invest more in less
liquid assets such as private equity investments, infrastructure
and real estate and less in fixed-income instruments which have
been generating lower returns.
He said the fund is targeting having 30 to 35 percent of its
investment in less-liquid assets in "roughly four to five
years," compared with 28 percent currently.
($1 = 1.3097 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham and Allison Lampert; Editing by