Tokyo, July 3 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund said Friday that it incurred a record quarterly investment loss of 17,707.2 billion yen in January-March.
The first loss in five quarters chiefly reflected stock price plunges due to the fallout from the new coronavirus outbreak.
Of the quarterly loss, 10,223.1 billion yen stemmed from foreign stock investment, and 7,418.5 billion yen from domestic stock investment. Domestic bond investment also resulted in a loss, while foreign bond investment produced a profit.
As a result, the GPIF suffered an investment loss of 8,283.1 billion yen in fiscal 2019, which ended in March, yielding minus 5.2 pct.
It was the second-biggest annual loss, after 9,348.1 billion yen in fiscal 2008, when the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers triggered a global financial crisis.
Despite the loss, the GPIF logged 57,537.7 billion yen in cumulative profits since it started financial market investment in fiscal 2001.
At the end of March this year, the GPIF had 150,633.2 billion yen in total investment assets.
The pension fund made an investment loss of over 5 trillion yen on foreign stocks in fiscal 2019. Domestic stock and bond investment also resulted in losses, while foreign bond investment generated a profit of about 1 trillion yen.
The latest results “will not affect pension payments,” GPIF President Masataka Miyazono told a press conference. “We’ll invest steadily from a long-term perspective without being swayed by short-term results.”
The GPIF held shares in 2,389 Japanese companies at the end of March. Its holdings in Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> were valued at 1,364.6 billion yen, largest in the fund’s portfolio. Sony Corp. <6758> came second.
Heavyweights in its foreign stock portfolio included Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc.
In October 2014, the GPIF raised the shares of stocks in its portfolio in order to boost its investment performance. The latest results may rekindle debates over whether the move was appropriate.