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Carbon County retirement portfolio on the rebound

Published March 16. 2012 05:01PM

Carbon County is continuing to see its retirement portfolio rebound from its nose-dive last year.

During the monthly meeting of the county retirement board on Thursday, Robert Crampsie, county controller and secretary to the retirement board, announced that the portfolio value as of Feb. 29, was $63,879,284; up nearly $1.5 million from January.

Crampsie added that from the beginning of the year, the portfolio has increased about $4.6 million, or a 7.8 percent rate of return.

"We're off to a great start," he said. "But last year at this time, we were off to a great start as well, about 8 percent at the end of the first quarter, but we ended up giving all that back. I think there is optimism this year that didn't exist last year so I'm hoping this is going to be more of a sustaining increase."

At the end of 2011, the county's retirement portfolio's value hovered just under $60 million, which represented a year-end investment performance rate of return of just .037 percent, well under the annual actuarial assumption of 7.5 percent.

A very rocky economy, and unstable stock markets contributed to the fund's roller-coaster performance last year.

In other retirement business, Crampsie updated the board on a class action suit that the county retirement board is part of.

The suit against OmniVision Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, was filed on behalf of the county in December by Murray Frank LLP of New York, who represents the county as a monitoring attorney.

Crampsie said Carbon County is not the lead in the suit because other shareholders had more shares and lost more money because of OmniVision's actions.

The class action lawsuit names OmniVision Inc. and some of its officers and directors as defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws.

According to a press release, released by the county when they entered the suit, "It is alleged that the defendants failed to properly disclose the loss of an exclusive contract with Apple for image sensors in the Apple iPhone 4s camera, among other things, which caused OmniVision's stock to trade to artificially high prices and then sharply decline, as the truth began to be revealed."

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