Japan public pension fund hit by $26 bln Apr-June investment loss

TOKYO Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:22am EDT

TOKYO Aug 31 (Reuters) - Japan's public pension fund, the world's largest, suffered an investment loss of $26 billion in April-June, its first loss in three quarters, as the yen's strength and falls in domestic and foreign equities hurt its quarterly performance.

The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), under pressure to raise returns to cope with a rapidly ageing population, is closely watched by global markets given the size of its $1.37 trillion portfolio, which is equivalent to the economy of Australia, the world's 13th-largest.

The GPIF posted a negative return of 1.85 percent in April-June, a sharp reversal from a positive return of 5.11 percent for the previous quarter.

The performance translates into an investment loss of 2.069 trillion yen ($26.34 billion), compared with a gain of 5.48 trillion yen in January-March.

Total assets under management fell to 108.2 trillion yen by the end of June compared with 113.61 trillion yen in March.

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