Canada's Caisse fund reports 9.3 percent return in 2017

MONTREAL, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Canada’s second-largest pension fund, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, on Wednesday reported a 9.3 percent return on its clients’ funds in 2017, helped by a strong performance from its equities investments.

The Caisse said its net assets totaled C$299 billion ($236 billion) at the end of 2017, up from C$271 billion a year earlier.

The fund manages public pension plans in the Canadian province of Quebec. It has diversified to become one of the world’s biggest investors in infrastructure and real estate as well as a major investor in global equity and fixed income markets.

Chief Executive Michael Sabia said the fund was continuing to build a portfolio that can withstand geopolitical risks and market volatility.

“We are putting a big emphasis on resilience. Resilience is exactly what we need in this environment,” Sabia told reporters.

He said investors were currently “incredibly sensitive” to the actions of central banks, amid concerns about how changes in monetary policy to curb inflation could impact interest rates.

$1 = 1.2667 Canadian dollars Reporting By Allison Lampert and Matt Scuffham; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli