PORTUGAL- Portugal’s pension fund market experienced negative growth in the second quarter, according to results published by consultant Watson Wyatt.

Contrary to expectations that the market would pick up in Q2 after a weak start to the year, median returns from the country’s segregated funds fell to -3.2% from 0.3% in the first quarter.

The asset classes worst affected were Portuguese equities, other Euro equities and International equities whose median returns were a respective 10.2%, -15.8% and –23.4%.

Whereas in the first three months of the year Portugal’s domestic equity market underperformed Eurozone equity markets, Q2 saw the PSI-30 index lose 9.8% in comparison to the Eurozone’s losses of 15.9%.

The top performing asset class was Euro public debt as fixed rate bonds have benefited the most from the pessimistic scenario of the second quarter – negative macroeconomic indicators, corporate scandals in America and increasing tension in the Middle East.

The study covers 163 pension funds including segregated funds, pooled funds and third pillar personal savings plans, covering approximately 88% of the total market value of pension funds in Portugal.