GLOBAL - The CAD161.6bn (€125.3bn) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has seen its overall portfolio return 6.6% over the past 12 months, due mainly to strong returns in real estate and infrastructure.

According to its financial statement, CPPIB's investments in real estate and infrastructure returned 13% and 12.8%, respectively, over the past year.

This represents a slight drop from last year, when the Canadian pension fund's real estate portfolio returned 13.9%, while its infrastructure allocation returned 13.3%.

Overall, CPPIB's returns dropped from 11.9% in March 2011 to 6.6% this year.

David Denison, president and chief executive at CPPIB, said the fund had delivered a "strong" performance in fiscal 2012 despite the challenging global equity markets over the past year.

"While we witnessed dramatic fluctuations in global capital markets, our diversification of assets and growing number of global investments contributed to the fund's resilience," he said.

"The fiscal 2012 performance of the fund benefitted from our active management programmes and private market holdings, which are less sensitive to the excessive volatility experienced by the public equity markets."

CPPIB added a number of real estate and infrastructure assets to its portfolio since March 2011, including the acquisition of several regional malls and redevelopment sites in the US for a total of CAD1.84bn and a 24.1% stake in the Gassled Joint Venture, a gas transport infrastructure in Norway.

Last month, the pension fund also announced it was set to acquire a 49.99% stake in an Italian group operating toll roads in Chile.

Under the agreement signed with Atlantia Group, CPPIB will make an equity commitment of more than CAD1.1bn to acquire minority stakes in five Chilean toll roads from the Grupo Costanera, 50.01% owned by Atlantia.