The Canada Pension Plan fund’s net assets decreased to $298.1 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016, compared to $300.5 billion at the end of the previous quarter, according to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The $2.4 billion decrease in assets for the quarter consisted of $1.7 billion in net investment income and $4.1 billion in cash outflows, according to a press release. The CPPIB noted that while the fund receives more contributions than required to pay benefits during the first part of the calendar year, payments exceed contributions in the final months.

Read: CPP fund increases by $13.2B with ‘solid gains’ during the quarter

“The fund’s modest return this quarter reflects the largest quarterly decline in North American fixed income markets since CPPIB’s inception coupled with the Canadian dollar strengthening against most major currencies except for the U.S. dollar, partially offsetting gains in our public equity portfolio,” said Mark Machin, president and chief executive officer at CPPIB.

“Income was generated across investment programs and our teams continue to invest in assets in line with our long-term objectives to deliver solid results.”

Read: CPPIB sees 1.45% net return in first quarter

For the nine-month fiscal year-to-date period, the CPP fund increased by $19.2 billion from $278.9 billion at March 31, 2016. This included $19.4 billion in net investment income after all CPPIB costs and $0.2 billion in net CPP cash outflows. The portfolio delivered a gross investment return of 7.1 per cent during the nine-month period.

The CPPIB’s report also included investment highlights for the third quarter:

• An investment of US$152.8 million in the first lien term loan of Pretium Packaging LLC.

• A commitment of an additional US$107.5 million in the first lien term loan for Caliber Home Loans Inc. for a total commitment of US$482.5 million.

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• An additional equity investment into Liberty Living to support its acquisition of the Union State Portfolio of student accommodation from Blackstone for a total consideration of approximately 460 million pounds.

• A commitment of US$375 million in Secured Capital Japan Real Estate Fund VI, a real estate investment vehicle focused on distressed debt and off-market acquisition opportunities in commercial real estate.

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• An agreement to acquire a 50 per cent interest in a diversified portfolio of prime office and retail properties in New Zealand from the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, for a value of $545 million.

• An agreement to provide a 240 million pound corporate mezzanine development facility to Quintain.

• An investment of US$162 million to acquire a 40 per cent interest in the Pavilion Dalian shopping mall from the Pavilion Group.

• An investment of US$375 million in Raffles City China Investment Partners III, CapitaLand’s third integrated development private investment vehicle in China.

• A second joint-venture commitment to invest in Chongqing West Paradise Walk shopping centre in China. CPPIB committed approximately $193 million for a 49 per cent interest in the property.

Read: The growing attraction of Chinese real estate investments

• An acquisition of an additional 5.1 per cent stake in Transportadora de Gas del Peru, the largest transporter of natural gas and natural gas liquids in Peru, for approximately US$110 million.

• A joint venture with Hudson Pacific Properties to acquire a 285,680-square-foot, Class-A office tower in Seattle for approximately US$180 million.

• An investment of US$80 million for a 23 per cent equity stake in Accordia Golf, a golf course operator in Japan.

• An agreement to acquire an approximate 48 per cent stake in GlobalLogic Inc., a global leader in digital product development services, from funds advised by Apax Partners LLP.