Global public pension assets dip to $25.9 trln in 2023 -report

LONDON (Reuters) – Global public pension fund assets dropped slightly to $25.9 trillion in 2023 from $26 trillion a year earlier, as inflation dented returns from bond investments, according to a report published on Thursday.

The slippage follows two years of strong asset growth, with the funds also grappling with a rise in real interest rates, according to the report by OMFIF, Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum.

OMFIF analysed data from the annual reports of the world’s 50 largest public pension funds and 50 biggest sovereign funds. It also drew on surveys and contributions from 22 global public pension funds, including Singapore’s GIC and Canada’s CDPQ.

A net 13% of survey respondents expected to reduce their real estate and conventional government bond holdings in the next 12-24 months, with funds looking, in contrast, to add inflation-linked debt and commodities, the report said.

In emerging markets, nearly 40% of surveyed funds saw India as the most attractive market. No surveyed fund had a positive outlook for China’s economy.

One third of survey respondents expected to increase their allocation to green bonds and sustainable infrastructure in the next 12-24 months, and nearly 80% expected to up investments in renewables.

The incoming COP28 president, Sultan al-Jaber, opened this year’s U.N. climate summit on Thursday by urging countries and fossil fuel companies to work together to meet global climate goals.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)