September 6, 2017 / 2:00 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Ontario Teachers gets lower rate of return in first half of 2017

(Adds comments from chief investment officer)

TORONTO, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Ontario Teachers Pension Plan on Wednesday reported a 3.7 percent return on its investments in the first half of 2017, a slowdown from the previous year, impacted by the strength of the Canadian dollar.

The results were below the 4.2 percent rate of return which Canada’s third-biggest public pension plan achieved during 2016.

The fund said the rise in the value of the Canadian dollar had had an impact of 80 basis points, or C$1.4 billion, on its performance during the first half.

“Overall returns were offset by the impact of currency and declining commodity and natural resource prices,” said Chief Investment Officer Bjarne Graven Larsen.

The plan, which administers pensions for 318,000 working and retired teachers in Canada’s most populous province, said its net assets grew to C$180.5 billion ($145.6 billion) at the end of 2016 from C$175.6 billion at the end of 2016.

$1 = 1.2400 Canadian dollars Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Trott

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