Denmark’s MP Pension said it is no longer expecting 2020 to end in negative returns for its members, after investment performance bounced back in the second quarter and erased most of the steep losses suffered as the COVID-19 crisis hit markets.

The DKK128bn (€17.2bn) pension fund for academics reported an investment return of -1% for the first six months of this year, following the -10.1% return it reported for the first quarter. In March alone, the fund said its investment portfolio had made a 13% loss.

Anders Schelde, MP Pension CIO, said: “Minus 13% was steep, so in that light, minus 1% is satisfactory.”

Schelde warned there were a number of other uncertainties on the horizon, apart from the coronavirus crisis, that could affect returns, citing the crisis in the Middle East, the situation in North Korea and the upcoming US presidential elections as factors that could have a negative or positive impact on the markets.

He cautioned that this made it hard to predict what the final 2020 result would be, but said: “We are cautiously optimistic and hope to end up at around zero or maybe even slightly positive.”

Back in early April, the CIO made a tentative prediction that the pension fund would end this year with a single-digit investment loss.

Returns on pension savings should be viewed in the long-term however, Schelde said, adding that one bad year did not mean much, and that the fund had generated a positive return of 15% last year.

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