GSIS to unwind P32-billion offshore investments

Published by rudy Date posted on May 23, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the pension fund for state employees, would be diverting its offshore investments to a number of locally-listed companies in priority sectors.

This as GSIS 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 would be investing heavily in the energy and power sectors, as well as in companies in the retail and consumer sectors.

He added they may also invest in the telecom sector, but declined to identify which companies they are eyeing.

“For now, there are no plans to invest offshore again in the short-term as markets are still uncertain. 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 of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Vergara also said the agency is now waiting for the investment opportunities from the government’s Public-Private Partnership (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 counterpart pension fund for private employees, also said it may invest in the government’s infrastructure bonds for PPP projects.

The SSS said this is among the options it 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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