Australia’s Future Fund Monday said its portfolio ended the March 31 quarter down 3.4% at A$162.3 billion ($99.8 billion), leaving the fund with a decline of 0.2% for the first nine months of its fiscal year.
The fund’s “dynamic approach has been extremely valuable in helping us prepare for and navigate a historic dislocation brought about by COVID-19,” Peter Costello, chair of the Future Fund board, said in a news release Monday. “The board is focused on positioning for what remains a challenging and volatile environment.”
Raphael Arndt, the Melbourne-based sovereign wealth fund’s chief investment officer said at a news conference Monday that the fund’s modest declines for a quarter that saw the coronavirus pandemic pummel global equity markets pointed to the success of his team’s efforts to enhance the portfolio’s liquidity and flexibility over the past year, in anticipation of a pickup in volatility.
But in contrast to a number of superannuation funds in Australia, Mr. Arndt said the Future Fund will stick to its normal schedule for valuing the third of its portfolio invested in illiquid assets — such as infrastructure, private equity and unlisted real estate— after the June 30 close of the fiscal year.