July 24, 2024
Funds

Global market rallies boost labor funds’ year-to-date gains


Taipei, May 1 (CNA) A surge in global financial markets in March boosted the gains of labor funds managed by Taiwan’s Bureau of Labor Funds by NT$242.21 billion (US$7.44 billion) during the month, the bureau said Wednesday.

In a statement, the bureau said the funds’ accumulated gains, which reflect increases (or decreases) in the value of assets in the funds’ portfolios and income on investments, totaled NT$494.96 billion in the first three months of this year, up NT$242.21 billion from the end of February.

The bureau said the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted after a policymaking meeting in March that it could cut interest rates three times this year, sending global financial markets sharply higher.

As a result, the MSCI World Index rose 3.14 percent in March and its accumulated gains for the first quarter hit 8.20 percent. In addition, the MSCI Emerging markets grew 2.12 percent, with aggregate gains hitting 2.17 percent.

In Taiwan, the benchmark Taiex, the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s weighted index, soared about 7 percent in March alone as investors shrugged off a surprise rate hike of 12.5 basis points by the local central bank.

In the first quarter, the Taiex surged 13.18 percent.

The bureau said the local market’s strong performance reflected optimism over the direction of Taiwan’s economy.

According to the bureau, 57.63 percent of the investments made by the labor funds were made overseas and the remaining 42.37 percent was invested domestically.

The combined value of the funds managed by the bureau, including the Labor Pension Fund, the Labor Retirement Fund, the Labor Insurance Fund, the Employment Insurance Fund, and the Arrear Wage Payment Fund, totaled NT$6.42 trillion as of the end of March.

Based on that value, the gains represented a rate of return of 8.30 percent in the first three months of this year, according to the bureau.

The value of assets in the new Labor Pension Fund, launched in 2015, totaled NT$4.18 trillion at the end of March, the highest of any fund, and its rate of return so far this year to the end of March was 8.22 percent, the bureau said.

The Labor Retirement Fund, which has been in place since 1984, had about NT$1.02 trillion in assets as of the end of March, with a rate of return of 10.11 percent, the bureau said.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Public Service Pension Fund said on Wednesday that the Public Service Pension Fund managed by the bureau recorded NT$71.92 billion in gains in the first three months of 2024, with a rate of return at 8.57 percent.

In March alone, the fund posted NT$32.29 billion in gains, riding the waves of global market rallies, the bureau said.

(By Wu Hsin-yun, Chen Chun-hua and Frances Huang)

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