(Bloomberg) -- The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is abandoning its multibillion-dollar bet on exchange-traded funds covering emerging markets.
The C$141 billion ($129 billion) fund cut holdings of BlackRock Inc.’s iShares MSCI Emerging MarketsETF to $390 million as of March 31, from $1.6 billion three months earlier, according to regulatory filing data compiled by Bloomberg. The reduction was more than eight times its second-largest divestiture. The ETF wager had climbed to as much as $2.5 billion by the end of 2012.
The Toronto-based pension manager said in its 2013 annual report that emerging markets are “shifting into a lower gear” as governments undertake structural reforms in their pursuit of more balanced growth. The fund allocated 16 percent of its stock portfolio to emerging-market public equities as of Dec. 31, more than to Canada and the U.K.
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan also sold its entire $10 million stake in the iShares China Large-Cap ETF, according to filings. The retirement plan, the largest in Canada’s most populous province, returned 10.9 percent in 2013, missing the 14 percent median return for Canadian pension funds last year, according to Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Investor & Treasury Services unit.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan spokeswoman Deborah Allan declined to comment on the fund’s investments, citing company policy.