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Credit Suisse Swiss Pension Fund Index
A comparison of Swiss pension funds
Published quarterly, the Credit Suisse Swiss Pension Fund Index gives a representative,
up-to-date picture of second pillar (employee benefit) investment activity. Thanks to the breadth of its analysis, the index accurately reflects the behavior of pension funds that have a global custody arrangement with Credit Suisse.
The Swiss National Bank’s Decision Has Left Its Mark on Pension Funds
Performance of Swiss Pension Funds on the Basis of Credit Suisse Global Custody Data as at January 31, 2015.
Owing to widespread interest, the January figures are being published now, for the first time since the Credit Suisse Swiss Pension Fund Index was launched 15 years ago. In doing so, our wish is to contribute to the topicality of events in the new year.
January 2015 was marked by the abandonment of the EUR / CHF exchange rate by the Swiss National Bank and the introduction of negative interest rates (Libor range –1.25 percent to – 0.25 percent). Subsequently, money market rates slid into negative territory and have remained there ever since. Yields on Swiss government bonds with terms of up to 12 years also fell into negative territory, which was highly positive for CHF bond prices, but will limit the future attractiveness of this asset class. Credit spreads for investment grade debtors also narrowed slightly in January. Directly after the Swiss National Bank’s announcement, Swiss equities fell by almost 15 percent within two days owing to the negative exchange rate effects on the profits of Swiss companies, but then recovered strongly by the end of the month and made up almost a third of the loss. The CHF appreciated against the USD and especially against the EUR, which, from the point of view of CHF investors, led to losses on foreign equity investments, but these were partly offset by a strong price performance, especially in Europe.
When interpreting these figures, it must be kept in mind that the Credit Suisse Swiss Pension Fund Index is not an artificially constructed performance index but an index based on actual pension fund data. Consequently, the index is “alive,” which significantly increases its informative value regarding the current investment behavior of Swiss pension funds. On the other hand, the fact that it is constantly revised limits the comparability of data over time. The index is nevertheless an up-to-date indicator, especially as highly accurate pension fund data remains difficult to obtain.