CZECH REPUBLIC - Penzijní fond České pojišťovny (PFČP), the largest pension fund in the Czech republic, has reported a fall in returns to just 2.4% following the recent credit crisis. 

Latest figures reported at the fund’s general meeting showed PFČP returned 2.4% in 2007, compared to 3.3% in 2006, although the volume of assets under management also increased to CZK 38.3bn (€1.5bn) from CZK 32.5bn at the end of 2006.

PFČP claimed client accounts had increased the total of its assets by more than three-quarters of a billion crowns, with figures on the pension fund’s website confirming the volume of assets had risen to CZK 39.4bn by the end of March 2008, while the number of members had increased from 974,115 at the end of 2006 to over 1.1 million by the end of March 2008.  

However, despite the increase in the overall volume of assets, PFČP admitted the 2007 results “were affected by the situation in the US capital markets”, although Tomáš Matoušek, director general of PFČP, said “thanks to a balanced investment strategy, we managed to create an interesting profit”.

At the end of March 2008, the PFČP website showed the majority of the fund’s investments, 54%, were held in state bonds, while 16% had been allocated to mutual unit-linked funds and 14% to corporate bonds.

PFČP highlighted the largest representation in the investment portfolio over the past year had been secure state bank bonds, as Matousek claimed “these are securities with a low risk that bring our clients stable income”.

However he added at the same time the pension fund is “constantly seeking new and profitable investment opportunities”.

Current spot rate is €1/CZK25.53.