Investments managed by the Bureau of Labor Funds lost more than NT$470 billion (US$15.77 billion) as of the end of March, when equity markets plunged as the global spread of COVID-19 picked up.
The bureau, part of the Ministry of Labor, on Friday said in statement that funds, including the Labor Insurance Fund, the Labor Pension Fund and the Employment Insurance and Wage Arrears Payment Fund, posted a combined loss of NT$471.2 billion, or 11.16 percent at the end of March.
During March, the TAIEX, Taiwan’s benchmark index, shed 1,584.11 points, or 14.03 percent, as the virus escalated in the US and European countries, particularly in Italy and Spain.
As many major economies imposed lockdowns to contain the disease, production was scaled back, the global supply chain was undermined and consumption was hurt, sending financial markets worldwide downward, the bureau said.
In addition to weakness in the equity markets, the global bond market also took a beating in March, forcing the bureau’s labor funds into the red, as investors preferred to hold on to as much cash as possible, it said.
As of the end of March, the new Labor Pension Fund, launched in July 2015, posted a loss of 11.37 percent, while the original Labor Pension Fund lost 13.37 percent, and the Employment Insurance Fund lost 10.33 percent, the bureau said.
The bureau said that it would monitor the pandemic closely and increase its risk-control efforts in managing the funds.
It said that many nations have come up with alternative monetary and fiscal measures to boost their economies, which could stabilize the financial markets.
As the pandemic has been showing signs of easing, and with many nations coming out of lockdown, global financial markets are expected to improve furth.er, it added.
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