March 24, 2020 / 8:23 AM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's largest pension funds cut value of unlisted assets on virus hit

(Adds UniSuper cuts unlisted property values by 10%)

By Paulina Duran

SYDNEY, March 24 (Reuters) - Australia’s pension funds are slashing the values of their unlisted infrastructure and property investments, as countries around the world move into lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

AustralianSuper, the country’s largest pension fund, lowered the value of its unlisted investments by 7% due to the impact of the virus outbreak, its Chief Executive Ian Silk said on Tuesday.

The virus spread and measures to fight it have had a drastic impact on market values and volatility globally, with equity, debt and money markets registering declines not seen since the global financial crisis.

“In the current unique circumstances, AustralianSuper has moved to revalue its unlisted assets so that members can have an up-to-date picture of their superannuation balances,” Silk said in a statement.

“The values of all investment portfolios have been adjusted to reflect the economic and financial market impacts of COVID-19.”

The value of the fund’s unlisted assets, including airports, ports and toll roads around the globe, were reduced by 7.5% on average, Silk added.

The downgrade resulted in a 2.2% reduction in AustralianSuper’s “balanced” investment portfolios - which also include cash, bonds and equities - as of March 23.

UniSuper, an A$85 billion pension fund for the higher education and research sector, said it too had taken a 6% cut to unlisted infrastructure values and a 10% cut to unlisted property values. (Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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