The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) invested close to N$45 billion in the Namibian economy during the 2019 financial year. Of this amount, investments worth N$5.6 billion have been committed in unlisted domestic sectors in Namibia.
Figures from the recently released Fund’s 2019 annual report reveal that to date, N$1.5 billion was committed to infrastructure, N$74.1 million in health and N$117 million in renewable energy projects. The report said these investments complement GIPF’s substantial investment of N$5.6 billion into the main eight of ten Namibian listed shares with a combined value of approximately N$5.9 billion.
“The Fund’s combined investment in the Namibian economy made significant contributions to socio-economic development in the country, facilitating emerging entrepreneurs, funding infrastructure in the renewable energy sector, investing in affordable housing, health and land servicing projects, and providing funding for job-creation and import-substitution projects in the agricultural sector,” reads the report.
To allow for additional investments to be made in local companies and infrastructure projects, the Fund’s investment threshold of 3.5% in unlisted domestic investment was lifted by Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA) and the Minister of Finance to a maximum of 7.5%, valid until 30 June 2023.
According to the report, this presents the GIPF with an ideal opportunity to invest in long-term infrastructure projects with good returns on investment, and for local companies to be at the centre of these projects.
The Fund forecasts pay-outs to the value of N$5.2 billion in benefits and monthly annuities during the 2019/2020 financial year, the value demonstrating the funds crucial role as a social and financial safety net for thousands of Namibians from all walks of life.
CEO David Nuyoma said although local asset requirements compel the Namibian pension fund industry to hold 45% of contractual savings locally, there are very few opportunities to invest in the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSE). This regulation enables the fund to seek viable long-term opportunities amidst limited opportunities while avoiding and limiting potentially bad investments in the process.
In stimulating the local economy in the region and creating employment, the Fund sponsored projects that are part of unlisted investments programmes, such as the Mashare Irrigation and Blueberry projects. GIPF, according to the report, allocated N$131.5 million to the Mashare Irrigation and Blueberry projects in Kavango East.
Nuyoma said the project produces a variety of crops, including maize, sorghum, wheat and potatoes, among others.
“The Blueberry project is Namibia’s first-ever blueberry production project with the aim to export the blueberry produce to European markets where demand is high, with an opportunity to earn foreign currency,” he said.
The GIPF also funded Preferred Investment Property Trust to provide affordable housing for civil servants at Osona Village, near Okahandja. The Osona Village Housing project, worth N$230 million, is one of the unlisted investment programmes of the Fund.
2020-07-31 12:13:59 | 8 days ago