Pension funds contributed to stability
An analysis of equity sales and purchases from October 2008 through to March 2009 shows that the 40 largest pension funds (total assets of EUR 490 billion at end-2008, 85% of the sector) made a total net purchase of equities. This was at the peak of the credit crisis, when share prices worldwide were falling sharply (the worldwide equity index MSCI World declined in this period by 28%). The pension sector’s investment behaviour during the crisis was hence slightly anti-cyclical and so contributed to financial stability. This effect was marginal relative to the total volume of the total investment portfolio.