SWITZERLAND - Swiss pension funds are still refusing to shave equity allocations despite more sinking returns.
New data from ASIP (Swiss Pension Fund Association) and consultants Watson Wyatt shows that returns continued to slide during the first half of 2002. The median performance both public and private pension funds was -5%.
Some 65 pension funds with over 550 mandates (CHF75bn in assets) were polled for the analysis, which did not include direct real estate investments due to valuation complexities. This suggests that total returns could be slightly better, explained Watson Wyatt.
But despite recent stock market volatility, Swiss funds have maintained a stable asset allocation strategy during the last six months. Equities as an overall percentage of total assets declined only marginally due to the purchase of more equity securities.
The best performance of Swiss equity composites during the 1H was -4.8%, which exceeded the return of the SPI Benchmark Index. The median return was -6.4%.
The most positive returns came from Swiss fixed income (Pictet Total Index +3.4%). The median return for this asset class was +3.3%.
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