Cautious stabilisation in first half of 2023

Press release
The Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund’s (AP4’s) return for the first half of 2023 was 6.0% after costs. AP4’s fund capital as per 30 June 2023 amounted to SEK 485.6 billion, compared with SEK 460.5 billion at the start of the year. The result for the first half of the year was SEK 27.7 billion. During the same period, a net total of SEK 2.6 billion was paid by AP4 to the pension system.

“The strong performance of the stock markets at the start of the year has been favourable for AP4’s portfolio, which showed a return of 6.0% after costs for the first half of 2023. The financial markets continue to be characterised by great uncertainty. Having said this, during the first six months of the year we saw generally positive performance in the world’s stock markets, with a broad, global equity index rising by 14%. This result represents a slight recovery from the weak 2022,” comments Niklas Ekvall, CEO of AP4.

“AP4 has a very long-term mission, and what is of significance is the return that our investment portfolio generates over long time horizons,” Niklas Ekvall continues. “If we stretch out our perspective to five and – even more relevantly – ten years, AP4 shows average portfolio returns of 7.4% and 9.2% per year, respectively. If we extend the horizon to 2001, which is the starting point for the new pension system, the average annual return is 6.2%.

"AP4 continuously analyses sustainability trends and seeks investment opportunities that over time are judged to support the transition to a sustainable society as well as provide a high financial return, for example in areas such as fossil-free transport, green buildings, infrastructure and fossil phase-out in energy systems. Over the past three years, AP4 has invested close to SEK 30 billion in such thematic sustainability investments and our ambition is to gradually increase the allocation to this type of investment at the rate at which we can identify those with good potential." says Niklas Ekvall.

"We are happy and proud of two distinctions we received during the first half of the year: ‘Sovereign Wealth Fund of the Year’ at the Sustainable Investment Awards, and ‘Nordic Investor’ at the IPE Global Real Estate Conference & Awards. These awards are validation that our work is successful in our various areas of operation, and they give us motivation to continue developing our operations,” Niklas Ekvall concludes.


Key ratios for AP4’s operations

30 June 2023 

30 June 2022 

31 Dec. 2022 

Fund capital at end of period (SEK bn)




Net result for the period (SEK bn)




Net payments to the pension system (SEK bn)




Return, total portfolio, before costs (%)




Return, total portfolio, after costs (%)




Annualised return, total portfolio, after costs, 5 years (%)




Annualised return, total portfolio, after costs, 10 years (%)




Currency exposure (%)




Asset management costs, excluding commission expenses, annual basis (%)




Asset management costs, including commission expenses, annual basis (%)




AP4's mission is to contribute to financial security for current and future pensioners by managing part of the public pension system's buffer. AP4's long-term perspective, responsibility as an owner and strong commitment to sustainability create opportunities for high returns at low cost. In this way, AP4 works for safer pensions.