IRELAND - Irish group managed funds rose by around three percent last month, according to data from investment consultants.

New figures from Buck Consultants showed that the average fund was up by three percent in August, while Mercer Investment Consulting put the average at 3.1%.

“Pension funds, which generally have between 60% and 80% of their assets invested in equities, have benefited from the recent pickup in equity markets which continued during August,” said Buck.

“Over the first eight months of 2003, the average fund has returned 9.2%,” the firm added. Mercer said the year-to-date return is nine percent.

“Unfortunately longer-term returns are not as strong, reflecting the poor performance of equity markets over the past three years,” Buck says.

Buck puts the 12-month return at 2.5%, while Mercer says it’s two percent. The three-year return is put at –7.3% and –7.2% respectively.