THE National Social Security Authority (Nssa) achieved a seven-fold growth in investment performance between January and October this year, an official with the State-run pension fund has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Nssa’s chief investments officer, Isaac Isaki said last week that despite the difficult economic environment, the authority’s investments had performed exceptionally well during the period.
“We achieved a seven-fold growth, or 711% growth in investment performance from $2,7 billion in January to $21,77 billion by October 2020,” he said, noting that this growth was ahead of inflation.
“We also achieved 75% general occupancy for the whole (property) portfolio, outperforming the property industry average,” Isaki told reporters.
He said during the period, Nssa had made strategic interventions in the Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG), where it holds a controlling stake, as well as in several of its investee companies.
Nssa also achieved growth in investment income from $47,5 million in 2019 to $375 million, boosted by dividend income from investee firms.
However, most of the growth was underpinned by rising inflation for most of the year before it decelerated during the third quarter.
Isaki said Nssa generated US$1,18 million in nostro dividends from its investment in the Africa Export–Import Bank.
Nssa invested US$20 million in the Pan-African financial institution at the end of 2017 as a strategy to preserve its balance sheet value.
Isaki said Nssa successfully restructured its fixed income portfolio to reduce exposure to monetary assets that were yielding negative returns. Its mortgage lending unit, National Building Society completed 526 low cost houses.
“Our current investment thrust is to invest into opportunities, companies, projects that provide maximum economic and social impact. We are essentially seeking transformative investments in companies and projects that create jobs and revive the economy which will eventually help sustain social security schemes,” he said.
He said Nssa would be focusing on unlocking opportunities in agriculture value chains such as maize, wheat, soya and export crops like macadamia and blueberries.
The authority will also focus on investments into renewable energy, housing development and shopping centres.
“We will seek to participate in unique commercial projects that have capacity to generate foreign currency,” he said.
Nssa has a diverse property portfolio comprising industrial, commercial, residential, medical facilities and land banks earmarked for future development.
It has 110 properties across the country including Celestial Park, Nssa House, Social Security Centre, Pomona Shopping Centre, Bindura Shopping Centre, Chipinge Shopping Centre, Ekusileni Hospital and Beitbridge Hotel.
The authority’s investment portfolio is valued at $30,48 billion, spread across a wide spectrum of asset classes and industries.
In United States dollar terms, the portfolio is valued at US$449,6 million, with property accounting for 41%, equities 52%, foreign holdings 5% , fixed income 1% and local currency cash 1%.