GSIS hikes overseas investments to USD1.1-B

By Leslie Gatpolintan

July 4, 2018, 7:42 pm

MANILA -- State pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has committed to increasing its investments abroad to USD1.1 billion (over PHP58.3 billion) to diversify its portfolio and generate greater income.

GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas bared that it has been investing since December around USD300 million in the Asia Infrastructure Fund (AIF) meant to finance infrastructure projects.

Aranas noted its foreign investment in the AIF cushioned the decline of the fund’s assets due to the slump of the local stock market.

“Our investments right now are in local securities, bonds, different areas... We have adopted the multi-asset strategy which is the global trend, which is you do not put your eggs locally all the time,” he said in a forum Wednesday.

Gracita Gilda Bocanegra, senior vice president at GSIS’ financial management group, said the Macquarie AIF is committed to invest in infrastructure assets in Asia, which covers Japan, Korea, China, Australia and India.

Bocanegra said the investment amount is GSIS’ commitment along with other foreign investors to the USD3-billion Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund (MAIF).

“Then the general partner will survey and consider what are investment opportunities. If they find opportunities, it is the only time they will deploy. That means they will only ask us to invest if there is investment opportunity. I think we deployed some already,” she explained.

Apart from its committed investment to MAIF, the GSIS earlier announced it would invest abroad USD800 million into a multi-asset global strategy program.

Aranas said it will hire this year foreign fund managers for the overseas investment.

“We have more than 40 applicants... The fund manager that we are looking should have proven track record, global presence and has experience of at least 10 years in the financial markets. But right now, we are still in the evaluation stage because we want to make sure this will not go to waste,” he added.

Aranas further said GSIS invested PHP500 billion to date.

The pension fund booked a net income of PHP13 billion as of May 2018. (PNA)