POLAND - Polish pension funds managed to return 3.6% in November and December 2008 but that was not enough to put the funds back in positive territory as the late gains had followed the worst month's performance since the system's inception.

Latest research on the Polish pension market from Analizy showed in October 2008 managers lost PLN11bn (€2.57bn) because of bad market conditions but the positive returns of 1.6% in November and 2% in December to Polish pension fund assets were not enough to stem the falls as funds lost almost PLN2bn over the whole of the year, despite receiving contribution inflows of PLN20.5bn.

Analizy's analysis of the market also suggests ING OFE has closed in on Commercial Union OFE's position as market leader.

"Over the last 12 months the distance has decreased by 1 basis point", said the research group, suggesting Commercial Union OFE lost market share worth 0.4 basis points while ING OFE gained a share worth 0.6 basis points.

It was also noted Aegon OFE has more than doubled its market share from 2.1% to 4.3% through the takeover of OFE Skarbiec Emerytura. (See earlier IPE story: Aegon takes control of Romanian pension business)

The worst performer in December is said to be the smallest fund in the system, OFE Polsat, with a management return of only 0.4%.

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