North Carolina's pension fund returned 2.21 percent for the fiscal year that ended June 30 and finished the year with $74.5 billion in assets, State Treasurer Janet Cowell's office reported Friday.
The fund's global stock portfolio declined 5.98 percent for the year, and was down 5.88 percent in the second quarter. The fund's bond portfolio gained 11.66 percent and 3.44 percent for the quarter.
“Equity markets across the globe have suffered this quarter from the continuing instability in the Eurozone and a slowdown in China,” Cowell said in a statement. “At the same time, movement to lower risk investments such as fixed income and real estate helped buffer those losses.”
The fund's real estate portfolio returned 7.88 percent for the fiscal year while its alternative investment portfolio, made up mostly of private equity investments, returned 5.39 percent.
Cowell's office has come under criticism in recent weeks for the pension fund's investment in Facebook, the social networking company that had a disastrous initial public offering in May.
The state's retirement system has seen the value of its Facebook investment plummet at least $4.1 million. Earlier this month the system joined a class-action lawsuit against the social networking site and its underwriters, including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
The suit alleges that the companies misrepresented Facebook's IPO earlier this year. North Carolina argues in court documents that it deserves the preferred status as lead plaintiff in the suit because it suffered the biggest loss, by a wide margin, among the investors seeking to direct the lawsuit.
The fund bought 685,737 shares of Facebook stock May 17 at the initial price of $38 a share, according to documents from the state treasurer's office. The state's stock portfolio managers then sold a small portion of the $26 million investment the next day, making about $215,000.
The state's reported $4.1 million unrealized loss is a legal calculation and the total amount could be much larger.
Facebook's stock opened at $19.44 on Friday.