ITALY - The €451m Laborfonds, the regional scheme for workers in Trentino South Tyrol, saw a return of 0.16% in 2007 - "below average" according to the fund.

"In 2007, the most important asset classes generally underperformed," the Bolzano-based fund announced on Friday.

Its investment in six-year Eurobonds saw a return of 1.79%, while global bonds only returned 0.07%.

European equity performed a 3.25% return, while global equity hit a negative -0.81% return.

"Better performers were the short-dated bonds (over one to three years at +3.83%) and equities in the Euro zone (at 8.56%)" said the fund, adding Italian equities saw a negative return of 3.2%.

The fund invested around 63% of its assets in bonds, 34% in equities and the rest in liquid assets.

Publishing the 2007 results of other collective funds, the Italian national press has calculated an average return of 2.2%.

Funds which had a return of above 3% last year, had invested strongly in short-dated bonds, Laborfonds said in its presentation of its returns.

"The investment in short-dated bonds rewarded investors in 2007. Over the longer term though the bonds with a duration of six years have a considerable higher return in comparison to those with a duration between one and three year," said the fund.

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