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PGGM to diversify into more exotic fixed income

NETHERLANDS- PGGM is to make allocations to high-yield, emerging market and index-linked bonds following disappointing results for 2001. It is also increasing its European corporate bond portfolio and will give NIB Capital, which it acquired with ABP three years ago, a larger mandate.

A spokeswoman at the e49bn healthcare fund says it is an exercise in diversification and that the goal is to increase returns while remaining within the predetermined risk framework established by the ALM study.

The fund declined to say the extent to which it is investing in the three categories only that the overall fixed income holding will remain unchanged. At present this is 30% of the fund, down from 34% in 1997.

PGGM’s equity and fixed interest returns for 2001 were in line with their individual benchmarks. Equity investments fell 12.7%, 0.2% above the benchmark while fixed income returns of 6% were the same margin below the benchmark.

According to the latest annual report, premiums at the fund are set to rise one and a half points to 9.1% but the spokeswoman says this level remains below the average.

“If you look at the market in the Netherlands, most of the funds’ premiums are between twelve and thirteen per cent. We still have one of the lowest,” she says.

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