GLOBAL - Only 11.8% of respondents to the Global Pensions 100 Panel said they have made or are considering making investments in microfinance vehicles. The results, come after the California State Teachers' Retirement System began last month a discussion surrounding the merits of microfinance investments.
According to a CalSTRS research report posted on the pension fund’s website, demand for microfinance loans is estimated to reach US$300bn, but supply is at a mere $38bn.
For the five years ended December 31 the Symbiotic Microfinance Index has provided returns similar to the Barclays Capital Aggregate and could decrease volatility and provide diversification.
If CalSTRS moves ahead, it will follow in the footsteps of Dutch funds like ABP. The Dutch pension fund committed $30m to Grassroots Capital’s Global Microfinance Equity Fund (GMEF), a microfinance private equity fund.
With this investment, ABP’s microfinance program to invest in both microfinance debt and private equity amounts to $215m.
However, an overwhelming majority of our respondents (88.2%) said they have not made nor are considering making an investment in microfinance vehicles.
The Global Pensions 100 Panel was launched in July 2006 and every month asks pension funds two topical questions on events in the pensions industry.
Click [asset_library_tag 1123,here] to see the full list of members to the Global Pensions 100 Panel.
For a one-on-one interview with CalSTRS CIO Christopher Ailman, click here
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