Quebec’s infra portfolio underperforms benchmark(3)

As a result of loan write-downs, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec’s C12.6 billion portfolio of specialised investments and infrastructure assets returned -44.7 percent in 2008.

Canada’s Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, one of North America’s largest institutional investors with C$220 billion in assets (US$190 billion; €139 billion), saw a sharp drop in the performance of its C$12.6 billion portfolio of infrastructure investments in 2008, according to its annual results published earlier this year.

The group’s “investments and infrastructures” portfolio returned -44.7 percent last year, 8 percent less than its index. Over five years, the average return is -2.1 percent, more than 3.5 percent below the index.

In its annual report, Quebec said the dip in value was mainly the result of fair value adjustments of the senior loans in the portfolio. “Almost all of the losses” occurred in the industrial and energy-related infrastructure sectors. 

As at 31 December 2008, the special investments and infrastructures portfolio comprised 189 companies and funds. Among the group’s 10 largest infrastructure investments were positions in ACH Limited Partnership, Enbridge Energy Partners, Hochtief Airport Capital and Interconnector UK. 

Also at year end 2008, investments and infrastructure accounted for 3.6 percent of depositors’ net assets, against 4.1 percent in 2007.