UK - British pension funds produced an average investment return of 1.1% in the second quarter of 2004, the result boosted by positive equity performance across the board, research has shown.
A survey by investment performance measurement consultancy The WM Company revealed UK equities rose 2%, North American equities nearly 3% and European equities almost 4% in the second quarter. Asia Pacific equities were down, largely due to currency weakness relative to sterling, WM noted in a statement.
This positive equity performance was slightly offset, however, by declining bond returns. UK bonds were hit hardest, down more than 1% for the quarter with non-UK and UK index-linked gilts also suffering small declines, the Edinburgh-based research firm said.
“In current market conditions it is proving difficult to find sources of incremental return,” WM senior consultant Graham Wood commented.
“Pension funds continue to mark time as they wait for global markets to demonstrate a clear sense of direction.”
Property proved the best performing asset class for the quarter, rising nearly 5%. It also boasts the best performance record over three, five and 10 years, according to WM.
Pacific ex-Japan equities fell 5.3% for the quarter and British bonds dropped 1.2%.
WM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based State Street Corporation. The survey covered more than two thirds of public and private sector UK pension funds.
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