MALAYSIA - The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) registered net investment income of RM3.5bn (US$963m) over the third quarter of the year, with its equities portfolio posting an 8% increase.
Between July and September 2006, the EPF equities portfolio grew by 8% to RM777m - a result deemed "modest" by the fund.
"Our returns in the equities market can be attributed to our investments in blue chip stocks that have performed well above the KLCI benchmark," said EPF's CEO, Datuk Azlan Zainol.
"However, in line with our prudent and conservative investment strategy, we will always maintain a careful watch on our investments."
The Q3 result was just slightly lower than the Q2 return of RM3.6bn.
Return from loans and bonds decreased by 1% over Q3 and those reaped from Malaysian Government Securities also saw a 5% downturn. This was said to be due to loans and bonds maturing and no major new corporate debt issues by the government over the quarter.
The results also showed income from EPF investments in property improved by 6% to RM12m. Similarly, the fund's income from money market instruments showed a small increase of 2%.
Currently, infrastructure investments accounted for less than 1% allocation. However, the fund announced it will be joining the rush to the asset class and up its investment in the space.
Moving forward we will participate in infrastructure projects such as the Government supported private financing initiatives (PFIs). However, our involvement will be purely on the investment and not the operational aspect of these projects, similar to strategies undertaken by global state pension funds in other developed countries, Zainol said.
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