CPPIB fund declines by $19.5bn

The Canadian Pension Plan fell in value by C$13.8 billion to C$108.9 billion in 2008 as investment returns shrank. However according to the plan’s latest figures, its inflation-linked assets continued to grow in value.

The value of the Canadian Pension Plan fund declined by C$13.8 billion ($19.47 billion; Euro conversion) to C$108.9 billion for the nine months to 31 December, according to the pension’s investment board.

The CPP Investment Board (CPPIB) said the drop in value, from C$122.8 billion a year earlier, followed a 13.7 percent drop in investment returns. CPPIB said in a statement that the total value of its inflation-linked assets, including real estate, was C$15.9 billion, up by 14.7 percent on last year.

It is the fifth year in a row that the CPPIB has seen the value of its inflation-sensitive assets under management increase. In 2005, the plan had only C$1 billion allocated to the sector.

CPPIB represents 17 million Canadians. The fund invests primarily in office and retail commercial properties in major cities across Canada as well as the UK, US, some parts of Europe and in the Asia Pacific region. According to the pension’s website, CPPIB’s real estate allocation was 7.1 percent, or around C$7.7 billion.

In December, CPPIB committed €250 million to Multi Corporation’s development fund. Multi Corporation, backed by Morgan Stanley Real Estate, said in a statement the pension was the first founding investor in The Multi Retail Turkey Fund. Multi’s fund already has 21 shopping centre development projects in the pipeline, the statement added, including the 178,000-square-metre Forum Istanbul centre, which will be the third largest mall in Europe when opened next year. Five centres are open, while another eight are under construction.