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Japan GPIF picks 14 funds to manage foreign stocks

Posted on: March 20, 2009

Reuters – Friday, March 20

* GPIF, holding $1.5 trln in assets, picks 14 managers

* Scale of active foreign stock funds at $19 bln in 2007/08

* Seven new managers include Fidelity, PGI, BNY Mellon

TOKYO, March 19 – Japan’s public pension fund, the world’s largest, said on Thursday it has selected 14 asset companies to actively manage foreign stocks in its portfolio after announcing a record quarterly loss the previous month.

The Government Pension Investment Fund , which holds nearly $1.5 trillion in assets, reported a record 5.7 trillion yen loss on its investments for October-December, hit by a surge in the yen and stock market declines. [ID:nT212154]

An official at GPIF declined to provide the scale of the fund involved in active foreign stock investments.

Meanwhile, the value of its holdings in the category stood at about $19 billion at the end of last business year on March 31, 2008, its annual report showed.

The GPIF official, who asked not to be named, said it reviews fund managers every three years and the process of selecting them takes about a year.

He said it will use the MSCI Kokusai index as a benchmark.

Seven new companies including Fidelity Investments Japan were added to the list while six were removed.

As of the end of December, GPIF had assets of nearly 140 trillion yen. Out of the total, about 90.4 trillion yen was invested in markets.

GPIF held 26.2 trillion yen worth of Zaito agency bonds issued by semi-governmental agencies, which it holds to maturity.

The rest of its assets are in loans to semi-governmental entities and other public entities being paid back to the GPIF.

Of the total invested in markets, 68.81 percent was in domestic bonds, 12.2 percent in Japanese stocks, 10.59 percent in foreign bonds and 8.59 percent in foreign stocks.

The outstanding asset value of its foreign stocks totalled 7.8 trillion yen as of December.

At the end of March 2008, a total of 1.86 trillion yen was held in active foreign stocks portfolios and 9.04 trillion yen in passive investment.

Following is the list of managers (new companies indicated by asterisk*):

*Axa Rosenberg Investment Management

Alliance Bernstein Japan

MFS Investment Management

*Gartmore Investment Japan

Goldman Sachs Asset Management

State Street Global Advisors Japan

Societe Generale Asset Management

Nomura Asset Management

Barclays Global Investors Japan

*BNY Mellon Asset Management Japan I

*BNY Mellon Asset Management Japan II

*Fidelity Investments Japan

*Principal Global Investors Japan

*Legg Mason Asset Management Japan


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