Japan’s government will escape a piece of bad news until after a summer election.
The $1.3 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund will on July 29 announce what may be its worst annual loss since the global financial crisis — about three weeks later than usual and after an upper house poll that must be held before July 25. SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. estimates the decline for the fiscal year ended March at as much as 6 trillion yen ($54 billion).
The world’s largest pension fund has been swept up in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s package of deflation-fighting policies known as Abenomics, with the premier backing a review of GPIF’s investment strategy that led to it putting half of its assets in equities. Abe has been criticized in parliament by opposition party lawmakers who say the public’s pension money is at risk of vanishing as stocks tumble.