IRELAND - The Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) has endeavoured to calm fears following reports that the collapse in share price of pharmaceutical giant Elan wiped millions off the value of Ireland's pension funds.
Gerry Ryan, vice chairman of the IAPF, said that the amount of assets claimed to have been lost following Elan’s recent share slump did represent a “significant event”, but that Irish funds were diversified enough to absorb any impact.
Currently, Ireland’s pension funds are worth a combined EUR50bn in assets, with Irish equity weightings averaging between 18-20%. Before the firm’s recent profit warning Elan shares held across all Irish pension portfolios would have comprised around EUR200m in total.
Elan’s price had plummeted after it said that it expected earnings to be affected by slower than anticipated growth in total revenue, partly due to “certain costs” that will be incurred this year.
The Dublin-headquartered firm anticipates net income to be $570m to $610m (2001: $696.5m).
By Madhu Kalia
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