Portuguese pension funds returned a negative 3.3% in 2002 on their E15bn of assets, according to the latest estimates from international consultants Watson Wyatt in Lisbon.
The last quarter of 2002 was positive, with median returns of Portuguese pension funds at +2.1%, but this was not enough to compensate for the negative returns of the second and third quarters, resulting in the second consecutive year of losses for funds.
By asset class, the biggest losers for the period 2002 were international, European and Portuguese equities. International bonds also registered a negative return of 5.3%. Euro public fixed rate debt and property investment funds were the best performing asset classes for the country’s schemes, returning 10.6% and 9.1% respectively.
For the fourth quarter, positive median returns for funds can be attributed to the pick up in Portuguese equities. The asset class returned +15.6%, and schemes had upped their allocation to Portuguese equities in the fourth quarter from 7.4% to 7.9%. Assets allocated to property and cash were also increased in the fourth quarter, with cash coming from the decreased allotments to ex-Portuguese equities and bonds.
Watson Wyatt’s survey covers 171 pension funds and third pillar plans, managed by 14 pension managers, with combined asset values of E14.5bn.