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Caisse 3.3% return for six months lags benchmark

Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Montreal, returned a net 3.3% on its investments in the first six months of 2018, under its 3.5% custom benchmark, Caisse announced Thursday.

"The market environment became more complex in the first half of the year. Tightening liquidity conditions and protectionist measures by the U.S. have increased volatility since January," Michael Sabia, Caisse president and CEO, said in a news release.

For the five years ended June 30, Caisse returned an annualized net 9.9% vs. the 9% return for the custom benchmark, according to the release. Caisse does not provide one-year or other multiyear return comparisons in its midyear release.

Total assets as of June 30 were C$308.3 billion ($233.6 billion), up 3.3% from the start of 2018. For the six months ended June 30, investment returns produced a net C$9.4 billion while net deposits were C$400 million.

Caisse's C$152 billion equity allocation returned 4% for the six months and an annualized 13.5% for the five years, both ended June 30, compared to its 4.4% and 11.8% custom benchmarks, respectively. Its C$97.9 billion in fixed income returned 1.1% for six months and an annualized 4.1% for five years, vs. the benchmark's respective 0.6% and 3.5% returns. The C$56.4 billion real return portfolio returned 5% for the six months and an annualized 10.5% for five years, compared to the 6% and 10.9% respective benchmark returns.

Returns for its remaining assets, in asset allocation portfolios, active overlay strategies and cash, were not disclosed.

In the first half of 2017, Caisse returned a net 5%.

Caisse manages Quebec public pension plan and other provincial assets.