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Canada pension returns 4.6% as assets grow to $204 billion

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(Bloomberg) — Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the country’s largest pension fund manager, posted a 4.6 percent gross return in the fiscal third quarter as it benefited from equity gains and a decline in the Canadian dollar.

The pension fund said its assets under management grew 18 percent to C$282.6 billion ($203.5 billion), from about C$239 billion a year earlier. The fund returned 6.3 percent for the first nine months of the year.

“Income generated across our investment programs and the advance of global equities contributed to the fund’s growth during the quarter, while fixed-income results were mixed,” said Mark Wiseman, Canada Pension chief executive officer, in a statement Wednesday.

“Our globally diversified portfolio allowed us to earn significant gains from foreign exchange, as the Canadian dollar depreciated against most foreign currencies,” he added.

During the quarter ended Dec. 31, Canada Pension agreed to jointly buy Petco Animal Supplies Inc., a supplier of premium pet food, with CVC Capital Partners for $4.6 billion.

It also committed $400 million to help fund Altice NV’s acquisition of U.S. cable operator Cablevision Systems Corp., and joined two other Canadian pension funds to acquire Chicago’s Skyway Concession Company, which operates and maintains the Skyway toll road in the city, for $2.8 billion.

Canada Pension is part of a consortium led by Qube Holdings Ltd. that made a sweetened bid for Australian port and rail operator Asciano Ltd. valued at A$9 billion ($6.4 billion).

Brookfield Asset Management Ltd., Canada’s largest alternative asset manager, has a rival bid in place for Asciano.