NEW ZEALAND - Superannuation funds delivered negative returns for the fourth quarter of 2007, recording a median return of -1.7% for New Zealand investors, according to Mercer's latest survey of fund managers.
Mercer's Quarterly Survey of New Zealand Wholesale Superannuation Fund Managers showed the highest performing fund for the quarter was Tower Asset Management which recorded a return of -0.4% before tax and fees while the lowest return was from Arcus Investment Management at -2.8%.
Over the full year AMP Capital Investors Superannuation Fund produced the highest return (at 6.9%) while BT Funds Management lagged the rest with a return of 1.0%.
According to Mercer, fund managers with a lower than average allocation to New Zealand equities tended to perform better over the quarter.
John Gallacher, principal at Mercer, said: "The loss of confidence in financial assets of lower credit quality, sparked by troubles in the US sub-prime mortgage sector, continued to affect other asset classes, and these effects were compounded by uncertainty over whether (or to what extent) the US economy would move into a recession."
Meanwhile, the Mercer Investment Trends and Industry Outlook published today, showed responsible investment and the global economy would drive New Zealand investment markets in 2008.
Mercer said following the widespread uptake of KiwiSaver, and the recent rollercoaster of stockmarket volatility, the investment markets and industry in New Zealand would be keenly watched, perhaps even more closely than usual, throughout 2008.
Martin Lewington, head of Mercer's investment businesses in New Zealand, said: "In 2008, responsible investment (RI) will continue to engage the minds (and hearts) of the mum and dad investor, Trustees of super funds and superannuation members and, increasingly, global companies and investment managers."
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