Pimco cut government debt in September as Bill Gross quit


Oct 9 (Reuters) - The Pimco Total Return Fund, the world's largest bond fund whose long-time manager Bill Gross stunningly departed on Sept. 26, ended September with a slight reduction in U.S. government-related holdings and an increase in emerging markets investments.

The Pimco Total Return Fund had exposure of 38 percent in U.S. government-related securities in September, down from 41 percent in August, according to the Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm's website late Thursday.

The U.S. government category may include nominal and inflation-protected Treasuries, Treasury futures and options, agencies, FDIC-guaranteed and government-guaranteed corporate securities, and interest rate swaps.

The fund's exposure in Emerging Markets increased to 10 percent of its assets in September, up from 9 percent in August, according to Pimco's website, which featured the fund's new management team - Scott Mather, Mark Kiesel and Mihir Worah.

The Pimco Total Return Fund, with $201.6 billion in assets, left its exposure in mortgages and U.S. credit unchanged at 20 percent and 13 percent in September from the previous month.

Since Gross's departure, Pimco has seen heavy outflows, with $23.5 billion leaving the flagship Total Return Fund in September alone.

Gross, one of the bond market's most renowned investors, quit Pacific Investment Management Co for distant rival Janus on Sept. 26. According to two sources familiar with the matter, he was expected to be fired the next day from the firm he helped launch more than four decades ago and built into a $2 trillion investment powerhouse.

The Pimco Total Return Fund also held 53 percent of the portfolio in cash equivalents, which include securities with a duration of less than one year, uninvested cash, interest receivables, net unsettled trades and broker money.

But that was being counterbalanced by a negative 51 percent exposure in derivatives, which include offsets associated with investments in futures, swaps and other derivatives. Such offsets may be taken at the notional value of the derivative position, which in certain instances may exceed the actual amount owed on such position, Pimco added.