NETHERLANDS – BpfBOUW, the €39bn pension fund for the Dutch building sector, saw its coverage ratio rise to 109.2% at March-end on the back of a first-quarter return of 2.7%.

With its current funding, 'BOUW' is now in the best shape of the country's five largest pension funds.

Over the first quarter, the pension fund's equity portfolio returned nearly 8%, driven mainly investments in the US.

The scheme did note, however, that concerns over Cypriot banks had hit European equity returns.

BOUW also reported positive results for its fixed income portfolio, which generated 0.8% over the period.

The building scheme reported a 0.1% loss on real estate, but said its other investments delivered a combined return of 3.6%.

It said the accounting rate for liabilities had had a positive effect on funding, but noted that a steady interest level would cause a slight funding decrease, following the application of the three-month average of the ultimate forward rate.