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Finance

Japan's pension fund boosts stocks, foreign assets

 TOKYO -- The Government Pension Investment Fund raised its allocation of domestic stocks by 2 percentage points to 19.8% in the October-December period as it shifted to higher-yielding assets, quarterly results out Friday show.

     The nation's largest public pension fund likely spent about 1.9 trillion yen ($15.8 billion) on Japanese shares that quarter and got a further lift from soaring stock prices here.

     Japanese bonds, mostly sovereign debt, fell 5.3 points to 43.1%. About 6.4 trillion yen of the assets likely either reached maturity or were sold in net terms by the GPIF.

     Foreign stocks rose to 19.6% of the total, while foreign bonds increased to 13.1%. Japanese stocks and foreign assets accounted for more of the GPIF's assets than in any year going back to 2008, the first for which comparable data was available, while Japanese bonds were at their lowest level.

     The GPIF announced last October that it would increase domestic and foreign shares in its portfolio to 25% each. To meet the target by March 2016, it must add another 3.1 trillion yen in domestic stocks and 5.1 trillion yen in foreign stocks to its assets from the levels last month, calculates Masahiro Nishikawa of Goldman Sachs Japan.

     The GPIF logged 6.6 trillion yen in investment income for October to December -- its second-largest quarterly figure, after the 7.6 trillion yen from the first three months of 2013. It benefited from the weak yen and high stock prices from the additional monetary easing by the Bank of Japan. The fund held a record of more than 137 trillion yen in assets under management.

(Nikkei)

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