GSIS to focus its investment program locally

Published by rudy Date posted on May 19, 2011
MANILA, Philippines –  The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the state-owned pension fund for government employees, said it would now focus its investments on local equities, fixed-income market and even in the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership program for infrastructure.
The GSIS has decided to unwind its investments abroad amounting to P32 billion, saying that it is practical and more lucrative to invest here.
GSIS president and general manager Robert Vergara said the agency expects to get the full amount by June.
It has already started receiving portions of the amount from its fund manager.
He also said that for now, there are no plans to invest offshore again in the short-term. “We would like to wait when markets are more settled,” he noted.
He said there are safer and more lucrative investments here such as the long-term government bonds and even in the special deposit accounts (SDA) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Vergara also said his agency is now waiting for the investment opportunities from the government’s PPP program.
He said that GSIS’ liabilities are denominated in pesos and can therefore keep its investments in the country.
The Aquino administration is eyeing to issue infrastructure bonds to finance projects under its PPP program. Proceeds of the bonds would help fund solicited infrastructure projects within the next three years.
The bonds, to be issued locally, will mature in 20 to 25 years or less depending on the terms or length of the infrastructure project.
Earlier, the Social Security System (SSS), the state-owned pension fund for private employees, also said that it may invest in the government’s infrastructure bonds for PPP projects.
The SSS said this is among the options the agency is exploring to grow its funds. Other options include growing its investments in stocks or companies listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange. –Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star)

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