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UK balanced pension funds up 1.6% - HSBC Image

UK – The average balanced pooled pension fund in the UK returned 1.6% in the first two months of 2004, according to HSBC Actuaries and Consultants Ltd.’s latest IMAGE survey.

“At this point in 2003, the year had started badly, with all funds showing negative returns until equity markets turned towards the end of March 2003,” said HSBC investment consultant Sean Cavanagh.

“For the first two months of 2004, the trend of the previous three quarters has continued, with the major equity markets outperforming bonds and cash.

“UK equities has been the best performing major market for the year-to-date, up two percent, while the UK small and mid-cap sub-sectors, which primarily contain economically sensitive stocks, have returned 9.1% and 8.3% respectively.”

HSBC added: “The top performing balanced manager for the year so far is Gartmore with a return of 2.7%, but we should beware of drawing conclusions based on such a short time-frame.”

It said Newton is in the top five over three and five years, as well as over the two and 12-month periods. “Newton is one of the few managers that performed consistently well before and during the market down turn and the subsequent recovery from late March 2003,” it added.

HSBC surveys 36 discretionary balanced, pooled pension funds and four consensus funds.

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