POLAND - Polish pension funds reported a fall in the value of their assets of -2.6% for the first half of 2008.

Two positive months, March (0.31%) and May (0.03%), were not enough to reverse the general trend of decline in the value of Polish pension fund assets, according to researchers at Analizy.

Only the fifth largest fund, AXA OFE with PLN6.2bn (€1.9bn) in assets, managed a positive result of 0.5% for the first six months.

The funds which saw its assets decline the most over this period were the recently set up Aegon OFE (-7.8%) and Bankowy OFE (-4.8%).

The researchers noted these two companies were the ones who received the least money in the last transfer session in May when pension fund members can decide to change funds.

Aegon received PLN27m and Bankowy PLN46m while the average for other funds was PLN91m.

In June all managers combined only returned -4.04% on average and thus decreased pension fund assets by PLN6bn.

The fall in assets was cushioned by transfers to the second pillar system from the ZUS state social security commission.

Overall assets shrunk 2.7% or PLN3.73bn to a level of PLN136.4bn at the end of June.

Over the last months all 15 funds recorded a fall in the value of their assets with OFE Polsat (-4.5%) and OFE PZU "Zlota Jesien" (4.67%) performing worst.

Best performers were AXA OFE (-0.4%) and Nordea OFE (-0.9%) as they were both the best performers (-3.79% and -3.81% respectively) but also received the most money from the last transfer session (PLN176m and PLN113m).