Hostplus has revealed its performance for the calendar year 2023, disclosing a net return of 8.46 per cent as at 31 December 2023, for its Balanced (MySuper) option.
Its Conservative Balance option and Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) option delivered 7.75 per cent and 7.47 per cent, respectively.
Additionally, Hostplus’ Indexed Balanced option saw double-digital returns of 13.19 per cent.
“Well-performing listed technology stocks, which experienced gains in both the domestic and global markets, and strong equity markets were key contributors to Hostplus’ solid returns for the financial year,” the fund told InvestorDaily in a statement.
“In the 2023 context of high inflation, rising interest rates and global geopolitical conflicts, the key lesson continues to be that our highly diversified and actively managed investment strategy is working.
“Our portfolio is naturally positioned for the long term and, to date, has demonstrated a level of resilience in the face of such conditions.”
The results come six months after the fund announced it would be scaling back its exposure to property and infrastructure, opting to scrap these single sector options from 1 October 2023.
At the time, the fund explained it had considered factors including “the appropriate management of investment risk, costs, complexity, asset allocation, rebalancing and liquidity, and how these particularly relate to unlisted assets within these standalone sector options”.
According to Hostplus, funds contributed by members to the single-sector property and infrastructure investment options constituted less than 1 per cent of Hostplus’ overall exposure to these asset class sectors. Hostplus maintained its investments in the property and infrastructure asset classes through the pre-mixed options.
Looking ahead, the fund told InvestorDaily it has not ruled out property and infrastructure as an area of interest in 2024.
“We continue to see some compelling investment opportunities across both the listed and unlisted asset classes,” a Hostplus spokesperson said.
“Energy and consumer discretionary equities represent opportunities in the Australian market, while technology and healthcare stocks are of interest internationally.
“Credit, property, infrastructure, and private equity continue to represent areas of interest in the unlisted asset classes.”
It also highlighted an increased exposure to bonds “to reflect the future prospects of this asset class”.
Moreover, the fund flagged market volatility as an ongoing impact on investment conditions but noted that its “long-term investment horizon coupled with its highly diversified portfolio”, helps provide resilience and drive performance outcomes in these conditions.
“We believe this will continue to position our portfolio well for 2024 and beyond.”
In 2023, Hostplus’ funds under management surpassed $105 billion following its completion of a merger with Maritime Super.
Over the past three years, Hostplus has also completed mergers with Club Super, Intrust, and Statewide Super, helping to boost the fund’s FUM.