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Treasurer Cowell Reports First Quarter Pension Fund Results

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 year.

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.

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