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Italian industry funds return 5.2% - Mefop

ITALY – Italian industry pension funds recorded an average return of 5.2% in 2003 – with returns ranging from under one percent to almost 10% - according to data from pension association Mefop.

The best performer was Fopen’s Prevalentemente Azionario, at 9.71%, while the lowest return was from Fonderergia’s Conservativo at 0.28%.

All of the 18 pension funds considered by Mefop, including the 360,000-member engineering fund Cometa had a positive performance in 2003.

Milan-based Cometa, which returned –2.27% in 2002, returned a positive 4.05% last year. Laborfonds, the pension scheme for the employees of the Trentino Alto Adige region, was up 1.8%.

The balanced ‘Stabilita’ fund of chemical scheme Fonchim was up 7.3%, making one of the best performers. Fonchim’s ‘Moneta' returned 2.82% while its ‘Crescita’ was up 8.78%.

The positive 2003 results, said a spokesman for Fonchim, could be attributed for the change in asset allocation.

A change in asset allocation paid off also for dental fund Fondodentisti, which was set up in 1996. The 3.6 million-euro fund, with about 2,600 members, started collecting contributions in 1999, president Stefano Gatti said.

Fondodentisti is divided in three investment profiles. The bond-oriented ‘Scudo’, the equities-based ‘Espansione’ and the balanced ‘Progressione’.

They posted returns of 3.12%, 5.70% and 3.01% respectively. Espansione posted a – 22.04% return in 2002 - but Gatti explained the estimate referred to the 2000-2002 period.

He also said that Invesco, which had previously run 50% of the whole fund alongside Fineco Asset Management, was awarded a mandate to run just Progressione. Fineco was entrusted with Scudo and Espansione, Gatti said.

And estimates for the first two months of 2004 indicated further “positive” results for the three profiles, Gatti said.



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