May 13, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Treasurer Cowell Reports First Quarter Pension Fund Returns
Fund returns 3.53 percent, with stocks up 7.13 percent
RALEIGH - State Treasurer Janet Cowell reported today that
the North Carolina pension fund returned 3.53 percent for the first quarter of
2013 and 8.84 percent for the year ended March 31. Pension fund assets were valued
at $81.1 billion at the end of the first quarter, an increase from the $78.1
billion reported at the end of the calendar year.
"We began the year with a strong first quarter, which
is always good news for our pension fund," stated Cowell. "It has become
even clearer that fixed income assets in bonds are underperforming and will
create a drag on our fund. It is critical that our investment professionals
have the flexibility to navigate these markets."
The public equity (stock) portfolio rose 7.13 percent for
the first quarter and 11.45 percent for the year. Following worries about the
"fiscal cliff" at the beginning of the year, the major markets
improved and finished off the quarter with record highs.
While the fixed income (bond) portfolio returned 6.51
percent for the year, it was down 0.25 percent for the quarter. Low interest
rates and the Federal Reserve's stimulus policies of increasing the money
supply have kept U.S. Treasury yields near record lows.
Real estate saw gains of 2.63 percent for the quarter and
8.08 percent for the year. The alternatives portfolio, composed mostly of
private equity, returned 1.71 percent for the quarter and 5.11 percent for the
The credit portfolio gained 4.67 percent over the quarter
15.01 percent over the past year. Inflation was down 0.77 percent for the
quarter and down 2.84 percent for the year.
View the Investment Performance Report