ROMANIA - Second pillar funds in the Romanian pensions market performed a fraction better in the first seven months of this year than third pillar funds, according to the latest figures from the Romanian Pension Funds' Association (APAPR).

Mandatory pension funds have generated an average return of 8.89% so far this year, data has indicated, compared with 8.73% for voluntary pension funds, to build net assets under management of RON1.7bn (€405m) and RON150m respectively.

The actual number of funds available in the second pillar market has decreased to 14 as the recent mergers between Eureko-Bancpost and BCR-Omniasig have now been finalised.

This means ING is now the largest player in the second pillar market with a 33.2% market share and €158m in net assets, followed by Allianz-Tiriac with 25.5% And Eureko now has 6.8% compared with 4.8% at BCR.

The sector still has 4.8 million plan members, but the third pillar has seen a significant take-up since the end of last year as it gained 22,000 new members this year to increase total 3rd pillar plan members to 173,000.

ING Optim is the largest firm in the voluntary pensions market of 13 funds, with a 26% market share or RON39.7m in assets under management.

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