Super funds see weak start to financial year

Superannuation funds have had a disappointing start to the new financial year, with median growth funds (61 to 80 percent growth assets) falling 1.5 percent in July as a result of weak share markets globally.

According to Chant West, the Australian share market fell 3.8 percent for the month while international shares fell 2.6 percent in hedged terms due to the appreciation of the Australian dollar.

The unhedged return was more disappointing, falling 4.3 percent, whilst property securities also retreated with Australian REITS falling 6.4 percent and global REITs down 0.4 percent.

According to Chant West Director Warren Chant, share markets are the main drivers of growth fund performance, and they react sharply to news, whether it be good or bad.

“In the early weeks of the new financial year, we’ve seen share markets take a beating, bringing back grim memories of the GFC. For the financial year to 19 August, Australian and international shares were down about 10.5 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively, on the back of concerns over the debt crisis in Europe and the US, the subsequent downgrading of the US AAA credit rating and fears of another US recession. We estimate that the median growth fund is down about 5.5 percent over this period.”

“The global economy faces a number of challenges with the sovereign debt issues in Europe and the US, lacklustre growth in a number of western countries and inflation pressures. However, it’s not all doom and gloom as some parts of the world are still growing solidly and listed companies seem to be healthy from a balance sheet perspective.”

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