US - Total assets under management at the country's largest 100 state and local pension plans increased by 19% over the year ended March 31, according to data by the US Census Bureau.
Total assets reached US$2.5trn, up from $2.1trn a year earlier. Meanwhile, assets were up 1.7% from the fourth quarter of 2009, marking a fourth consecutive quarter of gains.
Holdings in international securities increased the most with a 60% jump. These pension schemes invested $429.4bn in international securities as of March 2010, up from $268.7bn a year earlier.
The Bureau data does not say whether this was a shift in asset allocation or merely a result of market gains. During the same time period, the MSCI World Index was up nearly 50%.
Corporate stocks increased 27.1% over the year totalling $834.7bn by end of March, corporate bonds increased 10.5% totalling $420bn and federal government securities rose 10.3% to $163bn.
The Census Bureau data is based on the assets of the largest 100 schemes as reported to the Bureau in 2007. Combined, these pension funds comprise 89.4% of the financial activity of all state and local plans in the US.
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