Government pension fund logs record ¥11 trillion gain

Kyodo

The Government Pension Investment Fund said Tuesday it logged a record investment gain of ¥11.2 trillion in fiscal 2012 as domestic stocks rose sharply and the depreciation of the yen boosted the value of foreign assets in domestic terms.

The yield on fund investments during the fiscal year ended March 31 was 10.23 percent, also a record high, according to the manager of the National Pension and Employees’ Pension Insurance reserves.

The surge in pension investment gains was attributed to the reaction of financial markets to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies, dubbed “Abenomics,” centering on drastic monetary easing, which pushed down the yen steeply and sparked hopes for recovery in Japanese exports.

The fund reported booking profits of ¥3.76 trillion on foreign stock holdings and ¥3.33 trillion on domestic stock holdings.

Investments in domestic bond generated a gain of ¥2.13 trillion and those in foreign debt a surplus of ¥1.82 trillion.

Assets under management totaled ¥120.47 trillion as of March 31, up ¥6.85 trillion from a year earlier, the fund said.

The yen was down 14.9 percent against the dollar on an average basis in March from a year before, according to data released by the Finance Ministry.

A weaker yen usually supports exports, a key engine of economic growth in Japan, by making products cheaper abroad. A weaker yen also increases the value of overseas revenue in domestic terms.

With expectations for economic recovery growing, the Topix index, which covers all first section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, was up an average 7.0 percent on month in March. The Topix increased 11.0 percent in January and 6.6 percent in February.