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China's Social Security Fund reports '08 loss
Updated: 2009-05-06 17:43

BEIJING -- China's national government pension fund, the Social Security Fund (SSF), reported its first annual loss since its founding eight years ago, losing 6.79 percent on its investments in 2008.

The loss mainly reflected last year's A-share market plunge, as the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled about 60 percent, according to the SSF's annual report released Wednesday.

Realized gains in 2008 stood at 23.36 billion yuan ($3.86 billion), against a nominal loss of 102.1 billion yuan, the SSF said.

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In 2007, the SSF recorded profits on its investment of 145.35 billion yuan with a return rate of 43.19 percent.

The SSF had total assets of 562.4 billion yuan at the end of 2008, an increase of 122.8 billion yuan from 2007.

Despite last year's loss, the average annual return from investment for the past eight years hit 8.98 percent, far exceeding the average annual inflation rate of 2.35 percent. Its accrued investment income since its founding had reached 159.8 billion yuan.

The SSF would continue to improve its risk control and invest more prudently this year, cutting down on fixed income products and expanding its investment in private equity funds, an SSF official who asked not to be identified told Xinhua.

Dai Xianglong, chairman of the National Council for the Social Security Fund, said last month at the Boao Forum for Asia in China that the SSF might invest in three to five private equity funds this year.