Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has recorded a return of 5.25% (in US dollars) on its ¥196.8bn (€1.51bn) core infrastructure portfolio in the 12 months ending 31 March 2018.

It is the first time that the ¥156.4trn pension fund has disclosed details about its alternative investments in its annual investment report.

According to the report, the infrastructure portfolio includes investments in the Port of Melbourne in Australia, and Birmingham Airport, Bristol Airport and Thames Water in the UK.

GPIF said its infrastructure investments were located mostly in the UK (57%), Australia and Sweden (both 15%), Spain (10%) and Finland (3%).

The pension fund first invested in infrastructure in 2014 when it become a co-investor in the Global Strategic Investment Alliance (GSIA) with Canadian pension fund OMERS and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). 

It also invests globally in infrastructure funds through multi-managers DBJ Asset ManagementStepStone Infrastructure & Real Assets and Pantheon.

GPIF’s real estate exposure is smaller at ¥8.1bn, according to the report. The pension fund plans to increase this through domestic and global multi-manager mandates.

Late last year it appointed Mitsubishi UFJ Trust as its domestic real estate multi-manager, and has yet to announce its global real estate multi-manager.

GPIF’s plans to invest in core real estate to generate long-term, stable income.

Norihiro Takahashi, GPIF’s president, said the pension fund’s overall portfolio returned 6.9% for the fiscal year.

He attributed the performance to a strong global economy, which had buoyed global stock markets, but warned of uncertainties now created by trade tensions between the world’s largest trading nations.