The value of German Spezialfonds invested assets fell in 2001 by 1.4% to e506.9bn, their first fall in the 33-year history, according to Spezialfonds expert Hans Karl Kandlbinder, a consultant based in Grafing near Munich. But the number of funds rose to 5,550, compared with 5,328 in 2000.
The fall was due more to the decline in worldwide capital markets than a fall in sales, although new inflows into Spezialfonds declined to e41.3bn last year, compared with e45.4bn in 2000. “This development did not come as a surprise, since volume growth rates had declined over the past few years,” he said, when speaking at a conference in Munich.
“The inflow into Spezialfonds was almost twice that into the public investment funds,” Kandlbinder pointed out. “I predict the influx of new money into Spezialfonds will continue in the years to come at the rate of e40bn–50bn annually.”
Of those Spezialfonds investing in securities, both equities and debt, the proportion invested abroad rose to 51.4% in 2001, the first time it has exceed the 50% mark, though the proportion has been rising steadily. However the trend to equity investment was reversed in 2001, with the equity content of Spezialfonds shrinking to 38% (45% in 2000), of which 29% was non-German and 9% domestic shares.
Pensionskassen had invested 31% of their overall assets of e71bn in Spezialfonds, equivalent to 58% of their securities investments at the end of 2000, Kandlbinder noted, adding: “Once can be sure that the new ‘Reister pension funds’ will use Spezialfonds vehicles at to the same extent.” Additional flow of funds to the Spezialfonds would be generated from the Reister pension, he maintained.