NETHERLANDS - Ministry of finance officials met with the largest Dutch pension funds today to urge them to help bolster the Dutch economy.
She added the talks did not exclude any investment opportunity, so they could range from equity exposures to participation to government-sponsored infrastructure projects.
The participants agreed today to meet on a frequent basis. The next meeting will take place after the summer.
Chief executive at PGGM - pension fund administrator and asset manager for the Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn - Martin van Rijn attended the meeting.
PGGM spokesman David Uitdenbogaard said: "We talked about various investment possibilities, but pension funds have to look at returns, risk and diversification when they take investment decisions."
APG - the largest Dutch pension fund administrator - also participated to the meeting. Spokesperson Thijs Steger said: "The ministry of finance has emphasised once more that pension funds cannot be 'forced' to do certain investments, as they are responsible for their own investment decisions. However, the parties involved will look at interesting propositions in promising sectors."
Gert Kloosterboer, spokesperson for the Dutch Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds, who also had a representative attend, said: "A working group will be set up to coordinate the initiatives that will be undertaken in the future. In the meantime, the different parties which attended the meeting will consider their options."
Pension funds around the world are often asked to use their investment pot to help their local economy. In New Zealand, for example, the Ministry of Finance has asked the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to invest as much as 40% of its assets in local investments. (Global Pensions; June 10, 2009)
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