FRANCE – Applications for the 27 mandates for the 16 billion-euro French National Retirement Reserve Fund closed at noon today.

The Fonds de Reserve pour les Retraites, or FRR, sent the official public call for tenders notice to the Official Journal of the European Union at the end of July. Twenty-seven asset management mandates were tendered together with 12 stand-by mandates allocated over twelve asset categories.

Managers will be notified around the end of October as to whether they have will have been invited to the second stage. The final mandate awards will be given in the first quarter of 2004. A spokeswoman for the fund said she hoped they would be able to report on the success of the tendering process next week.

Thirty-eight percent of the fund will be invested in euro-zone equities. Of this amount, there are three passive mandates of one billion euros each, and seven active mandates of 200 million euros and 620 million euros.

Seventeen percent of the fund is to be invested in non-euro-zone equities, comprising one passive mandate of 640 million euros and seven other mandates ranging from 200 to 460 million euros.

In fixed income securities, 38% is to be invested in euro-zone bonds and 7% in non-euro-zone bonds. This comprises six 960 million euro active mandates, one inflation-linked international bond mandate, and two further mandates each of 480 million euros.

Mercer has been acting as consultant for the fund.