Windhoek-To date, the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has invested over N$4 billion in the local economy through its unlisted investment policy since it appointed the first round of fund managers in 2010.
“We believe that our contribution has greatly impacted and developed the local unlisted market especially in the areas of property, private equity, debt and infrastructure,” said David Nuyoma, GIPF CEO, during the fund’s annual stakeholder dinner last week Thursday.
During his welcoming remarks, Nuyoma noted that one of the notable investments for the fund was the acquisition of a 25 percent interest in Capricorn Investment Group at a cost of over N$2 billion during March 2017.
“When we talk about investing in the local economy it is not just empty talk, but rather a serious intention. Which is why after careful and due consideration the fund purchased a significant stake in this Namibian owned bank. We are of the considered opinion that Capricorn Group is a good asset with good potential for income as well as capital growth over time,” said Nuyoma.
He added that through this investment GIPF also strengthened its local investments in the face of increasing local asset requirements for pension funds and long-term insurance companies, as well as reducing the extent to which entities such as GIPF can invest in dual-listed shares.
Another significant development at GIPF is the managing of some of its investments in-house. “Since we introduced the Treasury Unit in 2015, it now boasts assets worth N$11.2 billion under its management. This figure amounts to over 10 percent of our overall fund investments. This initiative has seen us optimise our excess offshore funds and also realise some savings on management fees,” said Nuyoma.
Also speaking at the event, GIPF chairman Goms Menette noted that because the fund is one of the biggest contributors to the socio-economic well-being of Namibian society, it is under an obligation to grow and maintain this national safety net for the benefit of its members.
During the period ending March 2017 the fund paid out a total of N$2.9 billion in benefits, of which N$1.3 billion was paid as monthly pensions. GIPF currently takes care of close to 19,000 orphans and almost 9,000 widows and widowers who are considered to be the most vulnerable members of society.
“In this regard, we offer funeral benefits at no cost to our members, their spouses and children along with a lump sum and monthly benefits paid to the deceased’s loved ones. During the financial year ending 31 March 2017, the fund paid over N$121 million in death benefits and over N$9.1 million in funeral benefits. We believe these amounts are significant and speak volumes about the dignified livelihoods we have to uphold,” said Menette.