Japan's huge pension fund logs record profit after virus loss

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Japan's soaring number of retirees depend on payouts from the fund

Japan's public pension fund -- the world's biggest -- said Friday it had rebounded to a record profit from its second-biggest loss, as virus stimulus packages fuelled a global equity boom.

The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) said it generated 37.8 trillion yen ($339 billion) for the fiscal year that ended in March.

It marked a stunning recovery from an 8.28 trillion yen loss for the previous fiscal year, with the pandemic driving its worst annual performance since the 2008-09 financial crisis.

"The equity market at home and overseas expanded considerably as major economies introduced sizable government spending while easing monetary policies continued," the GPIF said in its annual investment report.

Japan's 186-trillion-yen pension fund has increased the share of equities in its bond-heavy portfolio to generate higher returns.

The conservative fund had long kept most of its cash in super-safe and Japanese government bonds, generating anaemic returns.

The move into riskier asset classes was aimed at financing the needs of Japan's soaring number of retirees who depend on payouts from the fund.

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