Pension funds move out of shares

Some of the Netherlands’ biggest pension funds are reducing their investments in shares in an effort to increase their assets, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.

The health service pension fund, engineering sector fund and Shell have all structurally lowered their exposure to shares, the paper says. It bases its claims on plans submitted to the central bank detailing how the funds intend to bolster their assets.
The health service fund has already reduced its exposure to shares from 45% to 35% over the past five years and plans a further 2% reduction this year, PGGM director Else Bos told the paper.
And engineering fund PME now has just 17% of its assets in shares, compared with 38% a year ago. Shares have been replaced by corporate and government bonds, the paper says.
Shell’s recovery plan involves cutting its share portfolio from 55% to 45%. Bonds and alternative investments will take up the slack. Shell’s coverage ratio has fallen from 180% to 80% because of the crisis, the paper says.

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