AP4, Stockholm, recorded a net return of 21.7% for the year ended Dec. 31, largely driven by active management, with assets increasing 19.7% to 418 billion Swedish kronor ($44.8 billion).
Separately, AP3, also based in Stockholm, reported it saw an increase of 15.5% to 393.7 kronor, recording a net return of 17.6% for the year ended Dec. 31.
In an update Friday, AP4 said its return equated to a gain of 75.2 billion kronor. For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2018, the fund recorded a -0.2% return.
As of Dec. 31, AP4 achieved a five-year annualized return of 9.3% and a 10-year return of 9.9%.
The fund's 39% global equities allocation returned 23.9%, while Swedish equities, which made up 16% of the allocation, gained 42.4%.
On the fixed-income side, the 21% global interest rates allocation returned 4.3% for the 12-month period and the 11% allocation to Swedish interest rates gained 1.7%. Real assets achieved a 24.6% return, with a 13% allocation. Further details were not available.
"AP4's return and result for 2019 are the highest since the start of the pension system in 2001. At the same time, the year's strong performance in the financial markets should be viewed in the light of the very tough end to 2018, with sharply falling stock markets and rising interest rates," Niklas Ekvall, CEO of AP4, said in a news release accompanying the update.
"Of AP4's total return of 21.7%, a full 4.4 percentage points can be credited to our active management," Mr. Ekvall said, adding that Swedish equities, global fixed income and credits and real estate contributed to the return.
During 2019 the total carbon footprint of AP4's equities portfolio decreased by 11%, he said.
In a news release Friday AP3 said it gained 53 billion kronor in the 12 months to Dec. 31.
The Swedish buffer fund also achieved a five-year annualized return of 8.5%, as of Dec. 31, and recorded a gain of 8.7% for the 10-year period.
"The net result of 17.6% is our best of the decade and I'm proud of the contribution we have made to the financial strength of the pension system," said Kerstin Hessius, CEO of AP3. "In the last 10 years, our average annual return has more than doubled and now stands at 8.7%, compared to 4.1% in 2010."