A tumultuous and dramatic first half-year 2020

The Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund’s (AP4) return for the first half of 2020 was -2.5%  before and after costs. AP4’s total fund capital at 30 June 2020 amounted to SEK 403.2 billion, compared with SEK 418.0 billion at the start of the year. The result for the first half of the year was SEK -10.6 billion. During the same period, net payments from AP4 to the pension system totalled SEK 4.2 billion. The portfolio’s active return during the first half of the year was lower than the return for AP4’s benchmark portfolio, by -0.7 percentage points. Currency exposure at the end of the period was 19.7% of fund capital.

Total costs indexed on a full-year basis amounted to 0.09 percent of average assets under management. AP4’s cost level is just under half compared with corresponding pension funds in an international comparison.

“AP4 reports a return of -2.5 percent for the first half of 2020,” comments Niklas Ekvall, CEO of AP4. “A negative result never feels satisfactory, but given the circumstances, our return for the first half of the year can still be regarded as a passing grade for how we have managed to deal with the spring’s market turbulence.

“The scope of the impact on the real economy during the first half of 2020 has been brutal. The speed and depth of the economic slowdown far exceeds what we saw during the financial crisis.

“AP4 has acted as a long-term and responsible owner in this extremely difficult and uncertain situation. This has been done, among other ways, by engaging in proactive dialogues with companies and with owner groupings on companies’ need for capital, which has resulted in AP4’s participation in several new share issues to support companies with sound long-term business models. AP4 is also contributing to the establishment of an investment company whose purpose is to support primarily unlisted, medium-sized Swedish companies in the current situation.

“AP4 also saw an opportunity as a long-term investor to increase our investments in corporate bonds issued by quality companies that structurally benefit – or at least are not put to a disadvantage – from the long-term impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Key ratios for AP4’s operations

30 June 2020

30 June 2019

2019

Fund capital at end of period, SEK bn

403.2

391.4

418.0

Net result for the period, SEK bn

-10.6

45.2

75.2

Net flow to national pension system, SEK bn

-4.2

-3.0

-6.5

Asset management costs, operating expenses, %

0.06

0.06

0.06

Asset management costs, commission expenses, %

0.03

0.04

0.04

Total asset management costs, %

0.09

0.10

0.10

Return on total portfolio, before costs, %

-2.5

13.0

21.8

Return on total portfolio, after costs, %

-2.5

13.0

21.7

Real return after costs, % 1

-1.6

11.7

19.9

Annualised return after costs, 5 years, %

7.4

9.3

9.3

Annualised return after costs, 10 years, %

9.5

10.4

9.9

 1 The CPI for June 2020 is an estimate, since this figure was not yet available at the time of this report’s publication.

 

About AP4

AP4's mission is to contribute to the financial security of current and future pensioners in Sweden by managing part of the national pension system’s buffer capital. AP4’s long-term perspective, responsibility as owner and great commitment to sustainability create opportunities for high returns at a low cost. In this way AP4 works for more secure pensions.

AP4’s half-year interim report for 2020 will soon be available at www.ap4.se.

 For more information, please contact:
Niklas Ekvall, CEO, tel.: +46-8-787 75 51
Karoline Hammar, Head of Communication, tel.: +46-8-787 75 53

Publicerad den 14 juli 2020