The National Pension Service (NPS) reported on May 29 that it returned minus 6.08% on its investments in the first quarter, with equity markets dragging down performance. Its assets shrunk to 698.3 trillion won ($568 billion) as of March 31 from 737.4 trillion won in February.

NPS attributed the poor performance to the sharp decline of stock markets at home and abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the performance of the NPS was relatively good among major pension funds that disclosed their first-quarter performance. For example, the GPFG and ABP lost 14.6% and 9.8% respectively in the first quarter. GPFG, which is managed by the Norwegian central bank’s asset management arm Norges Bank Investment Management, is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, with more than $1 trillion in assets and ABP is the Europe’s largest pension fund with about $460 billion in assets.

“In light of growing volatilities in domestic and international economic and financial environment, we are committed to promoting investment performance to contribute to sustainable financial position,” the NPS said. (Reporting by Jinwon Lee)