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Pension fund's 1st loss

CHINA'S national pension fund, the Social Security Fund, reported its first annual loss since its founding eight years ago, losing 6.79 percent on its investments last year.

The loss mainly reflected last year's A-share market plunge, as the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled about 60 percent, according to the SSF's annual report released yesterday.

Realized gains last year stood at 23.36 billion yuan (US$3.86 billion), against a nominal loss of 102.1 billion yuan, the SSF said.

In 2007, the SSF recorded profits on its investment of 145.35 billion yuan with a return rate of 43.19 percent.

The SSF had total assets of 562.4 billion yuan at the end of last year, an increase of 122.8 billion yuan from 2007.

Despite last year's loss, the average annual return from investment for the past eight years hit 8.98 percent, far exceeding the average annual inflation rate of 2.35 percent.

The pension fund's accrued investment income since its founding had reached 159.8 billion yuan.

The SSF would continue to improve its risk control and invest more prudently this year, cutting down on fixed income products and expanding its investment in private equity funds, an SSF official who asked not to be identified said.


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