A turbulent and challenging first half of 2022

Press release
The Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund’s (AP4’s) return for the first half of 2022 was -12.6% after costs. AP4’s fund capital as per 30 June 2022 amounted to SEK 459.1 billion, compared with SEK 527.6 billion at the start of the year. The result for the first half of the year was SEK -66.6 billion. During the same period, a net total of SEK 2.0 billion was paid by AP4 to the pension system. The portfolio’s active return during the first half of the year was -2.3 percent.

“The first half of 2022 was very challenging also from an historic perspective, with considerable market turmoil and not least sharply falling stock markets at the same time that interest rates have risen quickly. This development, of course, has not left AP4’s portfolio unscathed,” comments Niklas Ekvall, CEO of AP4.

“The return for the first half of the year was strongly negative, at -12.6%,” Niklas Ekvall continues. “In this context it must be kept in mind that AP4 is a very long-term investor and trying to make an evaluation of an individual half year is not meaningful. If we stretch out the horizon a bit to also include 2021, AP4’s portfolio has delivered a positive asset management result of SEK 19.1 billion.

“The spring of 2022 will have an obvious place in the history books. Once again, we have a war in Europe with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with enormous suffering for the Ukrainian people. Moreover, we are facing macroeconomic challenges with significantly higher inflation at the same time that economic growth is slowing down.

“AP4 regularly conducts analyses surrounding which asset allocation is best suited in relation to our obligations as a buffer fund for the income pension system. These show that AP4 needs a relatively high share of equities in our asset allocation in order to fulfil our mission in the best way over the long term. However, this means that we also need to be prepared for a situation in which we may have comparatively large fluctuations in our result from one year to another, and also to have a tolerance for large, negative results during individual years. However, as a buffer fund in the income pension system, we have a very long investment horizon and thereby also a good ability to withstand periods of large market movements. This ability to act long-term is a major asset for us during periods of difficult, disorderly and turbulent markets of the type we experienced during the first six months of this year. The fact is that in a long-term perspective, many good investments are done during difficult market conditions rather than in such a strong financial market that we saw at the end of 2021,” concludes Niklas Ekvall, CEO of AP4.

Key ratios for AP4’s operations

30 June 2022 

30 June 2021 

31Dec 2021 

Fund capital at end of period, SEK bn




Net result for the period, SEK bn




Net flow to national pension system, SEK bn




Asset management costs, operating expenses, full year basis, %




Asset management costs, commission expenses, full year basis, %




Total asset management costs, full year basis, %




Return, total portfolio, before costs, %




Return, total portfolio, after costs, %




Real return after costs, % 1 




Annualised return after costs, 5 years, % 




Annualised return after costs, 10 years, % 




Currency exposure, %




1 The CPI for June 2022 is an estimate, since this figure was not yet available at the time of publication of the interim report.