Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London:
The annual report from the Government Pension Investment Fund, Japan – the world’s largest pension fund - showed returns to March 31st 2013 for fiscal year 2012 were 10.23%. The Review of Operations opened with a message from the President, Takahiro Mitani, who commented on market conditions: "Over the course of fiscal year
2012, the performance was hit by the revived anxiety on European
debt crisis, before buoyed by the appreciation of
foreign currencies against Japanese yen and the
rising equity prices home and abroad."
There has been criticism about the amount of debt the pension fund holds. Reporting in Bloomberg, Takatoshi Ito, dean of the University of Tokyo's graduate school of public policy, said: ""The majority of the panel thinks the GPIF is exposed to too much interest-rate risk", pointing specifically at the domestic bond portfolio. "If they’re really aware of interest-rate risk, why are 60% of the assets in domestic bonds?" he asked.
Some members wanted the 121 tln yen ($1.25tln) GPIF to add new assets such as real-estate trusts, infrastructure and private-equity investments and commodities. The GPIF is hiring expert staff to diversify its asset base and adopt more sophisticated risk ......................
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