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Alternative Market Briefing

The world's largest pension fund evaluates alternative investments

Monday, February 04, 2013

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Takahiro Mitani
From Precy Dumlao, Opalesque Asia – The world’s largest pension fund, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), which oversees an estimated $1.16tln (108tln yen) in assets will meet in April to discuss the fund’s new direction, it was reported.

Takahiro Mitani, who has been president since 2010, said that managers of GPIF will study the possibility of raising holdings in emerging market stocks and will evaluate alternative assets, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The move will be the first time GPIF will restructure its assets since the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2011 earthquake. But Mitani said the recent announcements by the new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan on improving the country’s economy, made it imperative for GPIF to alter its asset structure.

He was quoted as saying, "If we think about the future and if interest rates go up, then 67 percent in bonds does look harsh. We will review this soon. We will begin discussions for this in April-to-May. Any changes to our portfolio could begin at the end of the next fiscal year." Mitani was an executive director at the Bank of Japan when it bought shares from banks in 2002.

GPIF is the largest buyer of Japanese government bonds and owns 64% of domestic bonds as at end September 2012 at a value of $747bn (69.3tln yen). T......................

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