TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ - Canadian pension plans continued to suffer from
the turbulence in the global equity markets in the first quarter of 2009,
according to a survey just released by RBC Dexia Investor Services, which
maintains the industry's most comprehensive universe of Canadian pension plans
and money managers.
Within the CAD 310 billion RBC Dexia universe, pension assets shrank
another 2.5 per cent in the quarter ending March 31, bringing 12-month losses
to 16.3 per cent. "Six of the last seven quarters have been negative, with
stock markets again testing historic lows," noted Don McDougall, Director of
Advisory Services for RBC Dexia. "It has been a bumpy ride, but March finished
strong and, so far, April is also looking up."
In the first three months, global equity was the worst performing asset
class, losing 9.3 per cent, despite outpacing the MSCI World Index by 0.9 per
cent. "Currency was less of a factor this quarter, but continued to have an
impact over the year," observed McDougall. "The index has plunged 37.4 per
cent in local currency terms for the year, but once exchange rates are taken
into account, the weaker loonie helped reduce pension losses to 30.4 per
Canadian stocks fared better, dropping only 2.0 per cent in the quarter,
as strengthening commodity shares cushioned the fall. "Pensions remained
under-exposed to the better-performing Materials and Energy sectors and
consequently lagged the quarterly S&P TSX Composite index by 0.7 per cent,"
said McDougall. "Over the year, however, active management has paid off
handsomely. Pensions beat the index by 1.8 per cent."
Thanks to a late March rally, domestic bonds earned 1.6 per cent for the
quarter, ahead of the DEX Universe. "Corporate bonds led this quarter across
the maturity spectrum, but 12-month figures still show dramatic
underperformance," said McDougall.
About RBC Dexia Investor Services
RBC Dexia Investor Services offers a complete range of investor services
to institutions worldwide. Our unique offshore and onshore solutions, combined
with the expertise of our 5,500 professionals in 16 markets, help clients grow
their business and sustain enhanced performance through efficiency
improvements and robust risk management processes. Equally-owned by RBC and
Dexia, the company ranks among the world's top 10 global custodians with USD
1.9 trillion in client assets under administration. rbcdexia.com.
For further information:
For further information: Brigette Kocijancic, RBC Dexia Investor
Services, Toronto, (416) 955-5495