Strong investment gains made by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) in the second half of last year were reversed in the first half of this year, its latest half year progress report shows.

ISIF said it recorded a negative return of -5.8% between January and June, despite its diversified portfolio outperforming global equity indices.

It said current market difficulties impacted the performance and warned volatility in markets would likely hit returns through the remainder of this year.

At the end of the first half of this year the net asset value was broadly in line with the same time a year ago.

Since it was set up eight year’s ago, ISIF’s total investment return has reached €2.1bn, an annualised return of 3.4% per annum.

ISIF also said it had made a strong start in its €1bn 5-year climate action investment programme.

It was announced last September and so far new climate-related investments have topped €285m.

In total, ISIF invested €396m across nine new investments during the first six months of the year.

The sectors in which it invested included aviation, high growth scaling companies, hospitality, life sciences and media.

Its total commitments to Ireland now stand at €6bn across 175 investments.

"We are continuing to support the wider economy by deploying significant capital and attracting co-investment in innovative and exciting ways that match our double bottom line mandate of generating a commercial return and supporting economic activity and employment," said Nick Ashmore, the Director of ISIF.

During the period it exited its investment in Finance Ireland, realising a gain of around 50% on the €45m it originally injected.

It also invested in a number of fresh ventures, including Solas Capital, Emerald Airlines, Aer Lingus, Greystones Media Campus and Beach Point Capital.