NZ Superannuation reports gain for March, sale of timber

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund reported Wednesday a 1.76% return for March, lifting the value of the fund's portfolio to NZ$22.11 billion (US$18.62 billion) as of March 31.

With the latest gains, New Zealand Superannuation's returns for the 12 months through March 31 came to 16.29%.

In a separate news release Wednesday, the superannuation fund announced that it sold 11 forestry blocks or 14,000 hectares in New Zealand's North Island valued at NZ$89.6 million as of March 31.

The China National Forest Products Trading Corp., a Chinese state-owned log importer, bought the bulk of those blocks, with the remainder going to New Zealand investors.

After the sale, New Zealand Superannuation Fund will still have over NZ$1 billion in timber assets, according to the announcement.

Details on the sales price weren't released.

In the news release, Matt Whineray, New Zealand Superannuation's general manager of investments, said the sale would enable the fund to pursue what it considers “more attractive investment opportunities” both at home and abroad.

Catherine Etheredge, a spokeswoman for New Zealand Superannuation, declined to provide details on those new investments.