European pension fund assets fell by €130bn in one quarter

Europe
On the 08/05/20 at 8:24AM

by

Laurence Pochard

The ECB has just released its statistics on the first quarter of 2020.

About 50 million eurozone citizens are affiliated with a pension fund. As of the end of the first quarter of 2020, European pension fund assets came to about one fourth of eurozone GDP for 2019. The funds’ total assets shrank in the first quarter of 2020 to €2,759bn, down from €2,889bn in the fourth quarter 2019, according to European Central Bank data reported by the Bank of France.

In the first quarter of this year, investment funds accounted for 44.9% of total pension fund assets. Debt securities made up the second biggest component (26%), followed by equities (8,3%). Assets in investment funds shrank to €1,240bn as of the end of the first quarter 2020 from €1,377bn at the end of the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2020, €15bn in net purchases of investment fund shares were made, while changes in market prices and other factors accounted for -€152bn. Within investment funds, the main component was equity funds, at €354bn and net sales of €33bn.

Portfolios depreciations 

Pension fund assets in the form of debt securities rose to €719bn at the end of the first quarter of 2020 from €713bn at the end of the previous quarter. Some €2bn in net purchases of debt securities were made in the first quarter of 2020 with market prices and other factors accounting for €4bn. Eurozone pension funds's equity assets dropped to €230bn at the end of the first quarter of 2020 from €288bn at the end of the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2020, equity sales accounted for - €1bn, while changes in market prices and other factors accounted for - 57bn.

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