ICELAND - The value of Icelandic pension funds increased by 12.6% in 2009, to a total of ISK 1.794trn (€10.2bn).

Latest statistics from the Central Bank of Iceland revealed the value of total assets in pension funds rose 1.8% in December 2009 from ISK1.763trn at the end of November. (See earlier IPE article: Icelandic pension fund assets estimated at €10bn)

The estimated monthly figures - based on a sample of the largest pension funds - primarily attributed the ISK31bn increase at the end of the year to pension fund holdings in Treasury bonds, which increased by ISK17.6bn, or 15%, to ISK117.3bn.

Over the year, the total value of pension fund assets increased by ISK203.1bn, or 12.6%, from ISK1.591trn at the end of 2008 to ISK1.794trn a year later. At the end of 2009, pension funds had just over ISK1trn in fixed income investments, of which the largest holding was in Housing Financing Fund (HFF) bonds at ISK364.2bn. Around ISK648bn was held in variable income securities, including ISK322bn in foreign equity funds.

The Central Bank confirmed these figures would be updated further when the pensions funds’ annual reports have been published. In the meantime, the statistics showed ISK1.16trn of the total pension fund assets are held in Icelandic investments, with the remainder invested overseas.

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