CPPIB tops half trillion in assets after posting 6.8% return

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Returns muted by volatility in markets ‘not seen since the outset of the pandemic’

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The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board crossed the half-trillion threshold in its most recent fiscal year, reaching $539-billion as of March 31.

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The net return for the year was 6.8 per cent on last year’s $497-billion, with $8-billion of the $42-billion increase coming in the form of net transfers from the Canada Pension Plan.

The CPP fund’s five-year return is 10 per cent, with the 10-year return coming in at 10.8 per cent.

“CPP Investments delivered solid returns in fiscal 2022 despite turbulent market conditions in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and rising inflation,” said John Graham, the pension management organization’s chief executive.

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“Our 10-year performance of nearly 11 per cent, the same as it stood at the end of the last fiscal year, demonstrates the enduring growth of the (CPP) Fund over the long haul … with steady resilience during uncertain times.”

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Private equity, infrastructure, real estate and credit investments were the predominant contributors to the Fund’s overall performance in fiscal 2022.

The pension giant said returns in the first nine months of the year were muted by “volatility affecting public equities during the final quarter, at levels not seen since the outset of the pandemic.”

For reference, CPPIB noted that the fund’s return in the 12 months of 2021, rather than the fiscal year that bled into 2022, was 13.8 per cent.

Bond prices also declined at a pace not seen in more than 40 years during the fourth quarter.

In addition, several factors led to a $4-billion currency loss during the fiscal year that hit returns, including the appreciation of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies, influenced by rising commodity prices and the impact of evolving monetary and fiscal policies across global economies.

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“Looking ahead, we confront uncertain business and investment conditions with higher inflation expectations, potentially worsening supply chain interruptions, tepid global economic growth estimates and international reactions to the war in Europe, all against the backdrop of a persistent global pandemic and climate change,” said Graham.

However, he said the pension management organization’s diversification strategy and market breadth, combined with local presence and a global brand, put it in “a position of strength” moving forward.

• Email: bshecter@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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