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Switzerland's AHV postpones hedge fund investment

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SWITZERLAND- Switzerland’s ChF19.7bn (e13.4bn) social security fund AHV has delayed investing 5% of the portfolio in hedge funds in order to focus on developing its global equity portfolio.

AHV has scrapped a 5% weighting in its benchmark and added it to the global equity share instead, taking it to 32%.

AHV has only been able to invest in global equities for a year following the relaxation of investment restrictions. Managing director Dominique Salamin says they are concentrating on tripling their holdings to almost a third of overall assets.

The Geneva-based scheme has not gone off the notion of alternative investment. Salamin says the issue is more fundamental- it lacks accessible funds.

AVH has significant exposure to long term illiquid loans which have some time before they come to redemption. In the meantime, all the fund's investible cash is allocated to global equity.

Salamin says they are arranging an alternative investment workshop in August and that they suggest to the investment committee in October that the fund makes its first investment some time next year.

The scheme will invest in both private equity and hedge funds but Salamin says they remain unsure as to the breakdown between the two.

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