NSSA splashes out $500m on investments

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The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) invested $500 million in various portfolios last year with the bulk of the funds splashed out in the equities and money market.

According to the latest figures, $156 544 192 was ploughed towards equities, $179 920 035 into the money market while $122 530 818 went into real estate.

Investments in housing amounted to $24 485 701 and the empowerment portfolio got $6 million.

NSSA general manager James Matiza told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare early in the week that the authority had been lending money to indigenous banks only, a development legislators described as discriminatory towards foreign-owned banks.

Matiza described the move by NSSA to lend money to indigenous banks only as “positive discrimination” as it was in line with indigenisation policies.

A total of $180 million has been lent to companies by NSSA and Matiza told the committee it was an officially agreed position that surplus money in the institution should be invested.

“There is positive discrimination towards indigenous companies when it comes to lending out money, but it is only towards banks and not companies,” Matiza said.

“NSSA stopped giving loans directly to companies long ago and this $180 million I mentioned is given directly to banks, who then lend the money to companies, and these banks use their own vetting criteria to issue out loans to companies.”

He said NSSA was not allowed to lose money it lent out, and even if it might lose the interest, the initial loans must be recovered.

“We ask for security from the banks,” he said.
“We have title deeds for all indigenous banks we lent money, and since the banks do not also want to lose the money they ask for security from their clients.

“The only institution we do not ask for security is Sedco because we only give them a small amount.”

But, Zengeza West MP Collen Gwiyo said NSSA’s policies were unfair because the authority only gave loans to indigenous banks, yet companies like Delta Beverages and Banks like Barclays had employees that contributed their money to NSSA.

Matiza said NSSA gave both FBC and Metropolitan Bank $2, 5 million to lend to retrenchees.