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Japan’s Government Pension Fund reports first loss in seven quarters

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  • Osaka, Japan

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Japan’s $1.23trn (€905bn) Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has posted a loss of 0.8% in the January to March quarter, its first loss in seven quarters, as domestic shares slid.

However, the fund returned 8.6% in the year to 31 March, helped by a rally in domestic and overseas equities over the first three quarters.

For the full year, the fund’s Japanese shares returned 18%, while international stocks had the best performance among the asset classes, with a 32% gain.

Overseas bonds delivered a 15% return, while local debt returned 0.6%.

The fund’s asset value was JPY126.58trn (€913bn) at the end of March, down 0.2% from December’s record high but up 5% for the fiscal year.

The GPIF’s weighting in domestic bonds was little changed at 55%, while Japanese shares made up 16% of holdings, down from 17% in December.

Foreign equities increased to 16% from 15%, while overseas debt, which includes infrastructure, was virtually unchanged at 11%.

The GPIF is expected to shift more money into local equities in the coming months.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe’s government has pressed the GPIF to overhaul its portfolio, putting more money into domestic stocks and other riskier instruments to seek higher returns for Japan’s rapidly ageing population.

Among the GPIF’s active local stock managers, Nomura Asset Management oversaw the most money, with JPY528bn in assets.

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