CZECH REPUBLIC - Six out of ten Czech pension funds generated a return of more than 1% in the first quarter of 2009, according to the most recent data published by the Czech pension fund association APF.

The best performing fund in the quarter was Allianz with 3.7% return while Aegon's at least hit flat returns, ING made a 0.2% gain and CSOB Progres barely scraped the minimum guarantee with a 0.6% postiive return.

The combined profit of all pension funds for the quarter stood at CZK885m (€33m) up from CZK560m a year ago.

Membership in the funds also increased to almost 4.4 million people, up by 51,000 from year-end 2008.

Most of those new members (9,000) joined PF České spořitelny, the second-largest pension fund in the system.

In contrast, hand Axa lost 6,000 clients and ING 4,000.

Assets in the pension system rose to CZK189.2bn up from CZK186.1bn in December. (see earlier IPE-story: Czech funds meet need for positive return

A year before the first quarter increase in pension assets was slightly higher from CZK162.1bn at year-end 2007 to CZK167.3bn.

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