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OIC pension fund “performing well”

Orkney Islands Council’s pension fund has performed “very well” over the last year.

According to the OIC’s director of finance and housing, Gareth Waterson, the fund returned a gain on investments of 12.4 per cent — out performing the benchmark of 8.2 per cent.

The pension fund is managed externally by investment managers Baillie Gifford & Co.

Mr Waterson said the company was focused on the “bottom-up analysis” of companies to ensure, as far as possible, that the businesses in which they invest have good prospects for growing earnings over the longer term.

“They have been successful in identifying attractive investment opportunities in emerging markets, and, in particular, several companies which they believe have an excellent long-term outlook and are now, on a relative basis, looking attractive.

“The fund manager continues to favour corporate bonds over government bonds in the fixed interest markets.”

The annual report and accounts for the pension fund for 2010/11 is due to be presented to members of the OIC monitoring and audit committee on Friday.