Nssa seeks to bolster offshore investments

Nssa invested US$20 million in the Pan-African financial institution at the end of 2017 as a strategy to preserve the balance sheet value.

THE National Social Security Authority (Nssa) has revealed plans to increase offshore investments by up to 15% of its portfolio, as it seeks to cushion assets from economic challenges.

Nssa chief investment officer Isaac Isaki told journalists during the fourth session of the journalists mentorship programme recently that offshore investments were doing well, hence the need to further bolster them.

“We do have investments offshore which are meant to cushion our investments from economic challenges,” Isaki said. “So, as part of promoting the sustainability of our schemes, we have got a target to increase our investments offshore up to about 15% of our portfolio.

“This is meant to cushion our portfolio from economic challenges that may be happening from time to time.”

Last year, the pension fund revealed that its investment in African Export-Import Bank yielded US$3,18 million in dividend payments between 2017 and 2019.

Nssa invested US$20 million in the Pan-African financial institution at the end of 2017 as a strategy to preserve the balance sheet value.

Isaki said the pension fund was one of the largest investors on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

“We are a significant player on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. Currently, we control between eight to 10% of market capitalisation of the ZSE,” Isaki said.

He said when Nssa was investing on the ZSE, it looked at companies which pay dividends consistently.

It also has investments in companies listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange.

“We are also quite a significant player in the properties space where we have got 111 properties, which are spread across in a number of investments, your shopping malls, land banks, hospitals, hotels, industrial space and others.

“A key focus area for our properties is generation of consistent income from that portfolio. As you also know that properties are quite stable despite changes in the economy and the currency, values for properties do not go up and down like stocks.”

He added: “So, we like properties. They enable us to have a solid base, which does not get eroded when the economic environment changes.

“We also like properties in that when we invest in land banks, we are able to service them and then dispose of them at a profit, thus contributing to the growth of the portfolio.

“We do have a number of developments in the pipeline, quite an exciting one. We have got two shopping malls that are coming up and substantial progress has been made.

“One of them is in Chitungwiza where it is essentially changing the face of Makoni Shopping Centre and by end of the year, this shopping mall will be (complete).

“We also have another one in Harare, again there is substantial progress in that and we actually expect that shopping mall to be on stream before Christmas.”

Isaki said Nssa also has two shopping malls that are in the pipeline, one in Mutare and another in Harare.

The pension fund invests in housing projects to reduce the national housing backlog.

Nssa’s key investments include 91,6% stake in Rainbow Tourism Group, 66,22% shareholding in First Mutual Holdings, 35,15% stake in FBC Holdings and 100% shareholding in National Building Society. The pension fund also has a 20,64% stake in OK Zimbabwe, 18,17% in CBZ, 11,17% stake in Seed Co Limited, and 21,16% in ZimRe Holdings.

Other investments include a 6,56% stake in Seed Co International, 31,63% stake in StarAfricaCorporation, 19,99% in Chengetedzai Depository, 31,43% in Stalap, and 8,76% in Ariston.

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