Hungary’s private pension funds have assumed more investment risk over the last 12 months, according to the latest figures from the Hungarian National Bank (HNB).
The allocation to directly held equities rose markedly over the period, from 11.6% at the end of June 2015 to 15.2% a year later.
The second-quarter figures released by the HNB showed the funds’ portfolios had an aggregate market value of HUF223.4bn (€704m) at the end of June this year, up by 1.7% from HUF219.6bn at the end of June 2015.
However, there was a slight dip from the end of March 2016 total of HUF225.8bn due to lacklustre investment returns over the second quarter.
Specific returns figures, however, are not published.
As of the end of June 2016, most of the assets (54.6%) of private pension funds were invested in debt, practically all in government bonds.
A further 23.6% was held in investment fund units.
Pension fund membership continued to decline, to 58,400 members at the end of June, down by 1% since the end of the second quarter this year, and by 2.5% year on year.
Besides the four private pension funds, aggregate figures were published for 42 voluntary pension funds.
There are also much smaller amounts invested in 29 health and mutual aid funds.
Voluntary pension fund portfolios had an aggregate market value of HUF1,190.7bn as of the end of June 2016, up by 4.1% from HUF1,143.3bn year on year and slightly up on the end of March 2016 figure of HUF1,187.4bn.
Most of the voluntary pension funds’ assets (65.3%) were invested in debt, with the vast majority in government bonds.
A further 24.2% was held in investment fund units, and 5.1% directly in shares, a slight increase on the previous year.
At the end of June, voluntary pension fund membership stood at 1.14m, down by 0.3% since the end of March, and by 1.4% year on year.
In other news, Hungary’s Pannónia Pension Fund has completed the acquisition of a 10% stake in MKB Bank, the formerly state-owned bank put up for sale by the central bank earlier this year.
The sale was completed in late June.
The Hungarian National Bank had previously bought MKB from Bayerische Landesbank in 2014.
The total sale price was HUF37bn.
The other members of the winning consortium were Luxembourg-based Blue Robin Investments (BRI) and METIS Private Capital Fund, both private equity funds, which each purchased a 45% stake in MKB.
Recent press reports, however, suggest BRI has since sold one-third of its holding (a 15% stake) to MKB’s employee stock-ownership programme.