JAPAN - Japan's public pension fund scraped a small return on its investments in the second quarter after its assets fell by $33bn, its latest report shows.
The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the largest scheme in the world, saw assets under management shrink by 2.2% to ¥113.75trn ($1.48trn) over the quarter, about the same size as the Russian economy.
The GPIF's performance equates to a profit of ¥240bn, down from ¥798.1bn in January to March.
GPIF said its rate of return on investments dropped to 0.21% over the three months, triggered by a fall in global equity prices and a strong yen, which traded near record highs against the dollar. Although the fund posted positive returns for a fourth consecutive quarter, they were down from 0.69 percent in the previous quarter.
The fund's investments in Japanese equities brought a negative return of 2.06%, or a ¥276.4bn loss, while overseas equities produced a negative return of 1.81%, or a ¥236.4bn loss.
However, the fund's investments in Japanese bonds produced a return of 1.11%, or a ¥651.3bn profit, while investments in foreign bonds produced a return of 0.4%, or a ¥37.7 billion profit.
The public fund told a news briefing the scheme had been selling assets to raise cash for pension payments but refused to say what had been sold.
In the previous financial year to March, the fund sold ¥4.77trn worth of domestic bonds and foreign securities.
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