DENMARK – FEFSI says Danish second-pillar pension assets held in investment funds have almost doubled in the first quarter due to the conversion of the Special Savings Pension Scheme.

European investment fund federation FEFSI, the Fédération Européenne des Fonds et Sociétés d'Investissement, said that institutional funds in Denmark saw their assets increase from 9.7 billion euros at the end of 2003 to 16.8 billion euros at the end of March 2004.

“This happened as the large Special Savings Pensions Scheme Den særlige_Pensionsopsparing was converted into a unit-link investment vehicle – a similar investment vehicle to the Premium Pension System (PPM) in Sweden,” FEFSI said.

FEFSI said this “anticipated the possibility that will be offered, as from 1 January 2005, to all account holders in the SP funds to choose themselves among the investments funds registered with the SP-system”.

The figures came as FEFSI reported that total investment fund assets in Europe increased by six percent during the first quarter – crossing the five trillion-euro threshold for the first time.

It added: “Growth in the UCITS market was driven by equity fund assets, which increased by 8.6%. Investor demand for equity funds, which started to pick up in the second quarter of 2003, continued to support asset growth at a steady pace.”

It said that France, Luxembourg and Germany had a market share of 58.5% at the end of March, with funds domiciled in France and Luxembourg managing more than one trillion euros of assets.