Thursday 25 April, 2019

Reports of outsourcing NIF management are speculative - Robinson

Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson.

Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson.

Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson scotched rumours that the management of the National Insurance Fund (NIF) was imminently to be outsourced to one of the major local financial houses.

There has been speculation that NCB was the front runner with Sagicor entering the fray by throwing its bona fides on the table.

Speaking at a quarterly press briefing held at the Ministry of Labour & Social Security North Street headquarters in downtown Kingston, Robinson said: “Contrary to recent reports, I would like to clarify that no decision has been made in relation to the redesign  of the NIF’s portfolio, other than the fact that it is intended to be given  Body Corporate status.”

“Reports of impending Fund Management outsourcing including to multiple private pension fund managers, are merely speculative. A consulting firm has been hired and we await their deliberations to create greater value for the pensioners who benefit from the NIF.”

Giving an update on the performance of the NIF, Robinson said its net assets grew by $13.8 billion or by 14.8 per cent to $106.2 billion as at March 2018.

For the first quarter in this fiscal year, the net assets of the NIF grew by 7.37 per cent to J$114.02 billion when compared to 2.03 per cent over the similar quarter of the 2017/18 fiscal year.

“The NIF continues to invest in a diversified portfolio of assets comprising equities, real estate, bonds and loans. Over the last three years, the equity portfolio has been the main contributor to the growth in the net assets of the NIF, averaging 44.3 per cent.

“As at June 30, 2018, the equity portfolio was valued at $26.07 billion up 7.16 per cent since the start of the financial year. The real estate portfolio also grew in the first quarter by 0.21 per cent to $14.84 billion.  

Also, as at June 30, 2018, the bonds and loans portfolios were valued $73.68 billion up 9.67 per cent so far this fiscal year,” said Robinson who left the country this week to attend G20 Summit meetings on labour in Argentina.

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