TORONTO, May 17 (Reuters) - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the country's biggest public pension plan, said it achieved a return of 11.6 percent on its investments in its latest fiscal year, helped by strong equity markets.
The CPPIB, which manages Canada's national pension fund and invests on behalf of 20 million Canadians, said it ended the year ended March 31 with net assets of C$356.1 billion ($278.7 billion), compared with C$316.7 billion a year ago.
"Soaring public equity markets through the first nine months of the fiscal year were the primary source of growth. As volatility returned during the fourth quarter, our private holdings proved resilient, adding significant value," Chief Executive Mark Machin said in a statement.
The fund has diversified internationally, becoming one of the world's biggest investors in infrastructure and real estate.
It is also a major global investor in equities and bonds, with most of its earnings derived from overseas.
$1 = 1.2778 Canadian dollars Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Bernadette Baum