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Private pension fund yields fall sharply in Q1

Hungarian private pension funds booked HUF 64 billion in yields from investments in the first quarter of 2011, down 61% from the same period last year, according to fresh data published by financial market regulator PSzÁF.

According to estimates by Napi Gazdaság, HUF 57 million of the yields will land in state coffers after the government last October passed legislation effectively blackmailing private pension account holders to go back to the state pension scheme.

Private pension funds had combined assets of HUF 3,163 billion at the end of March, up 2% from the end of last year and up 13% from 12 months earlier.

Hungarian government securities accounted for 47.3% of the portfolio, investment fund units for 34.3%, shares for 10.8%, bank accounts and cash for 1.8% and "other" assets for 2.3%.

Hungarian private pension fund members had until the end of January to return to the state pension scheme along with their pension assets, or else face losing their state pensions. About 97% of them decided to toe the line. Despite the sanctions, nearly 400 Hungarians opened accounts at private pension funds this year, Napi Gazdaság said.