Connect with us

Investment

World’s Biggest Pension Fund Loses $51 Billion

Published

on

Japan's Pension Fund Reports Record $64B Loss

The world’s biggest pension fund posted the worst annual performance since the global financial crisis, with losses exacerbated by unfavorable currency moves and a foray into equity markets.

Japan’s $1.3 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund lost 3.8 percent in the year ended March 31, or 5.3 trillion yen ($51 billion), the retirement manager said Friday in Tokyo. That’s the biggest drop since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. GPIF lost 10.8 percent on domestic equities and 9.6 percent on shares in other markets, while Japanese bonds handed the fund a 4.1 percent gain.

The annual loss — GPIF’s first since doubling its allocation to stocks and paring domestic bond holdings in October 2014 — came during a volatile stint for markets. Japanese shares sank 13 percent in the year through March while the yen climbed 6.7 percent against the dollar, reducing returns from overseas investments. The only asset class to post a profit was local debt, which jumped in value as the Bank of Japan’s adoption of negative interest rates sent yields tumbling.

“The results are painful,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, a senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “Because it’s a pension fund, they need to have a long-term outlook, so I don’t think we can say yet that they took on too much risk. It was a harsh investment environment for most of us.”

In a press briefing in Tokyo after the results were announced, GPIF President Norihiro Takahashi said he will reflect on the performance, but that the current portfolio has enough flexibility to adapt to different market conditions and he wants to run the fund steadily. Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief government spokesman, said GPIF’s management shouldn’t be influenced by short-term moves and there is absolutely no issue with its financing.

The fund also disclosed individual stock holdings and the issuers of the bonds it held as of March 2015, the first time it’s divulged such detail. GPIF’s biggest investments in stocks were Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. in Tokyo and Apple Inc. outside Japan. The fund’s largest debt holdings included Japanese government bonds and U.S. Treasuries. GPIF plans to announce its holdings as of March this year on Nov. 25, and is staggering the releases to avoid impacting markets, fund official Hiro Mitsuishi said on Monday.

Asset Weightings

GPIF held 22 percent of investments in local stocks at the end of March, and 38 percent in domestic bonds. Its overseas equity holdings made up 22 percent, while foreign debt accounted for 13 percent of its assets. Alternative investments were 0.06 percent of holdings, up from 0.04 percent at the end of 2015. GPIF targets allocations of 25 percent each for Japanese and overseas stocks, 35 percent for local bonds and 15 percent for offshore debt.

“They have more than enough room to increase their weighting to Japanese stocks,” said Makoto Sengoku, a market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.

Almost 80 percent of GPIF’s holdings were passive investments, according to the statement. While GPIF’s losses can be mostly attributed to rocky markets and an index-hugging investment approach, its peer in Canada has done better. The $212 billion Canada Pension Plan Investment Board had a 3.4 percent return for the year ended March, with its biggest gain coming from private emerging-market equity investments and real estate.

Losses Expected

Investors “have been fully aware that there would be losses,” Akio Yoshino, chief economist at Amundi Japan Ltd. in Tokyo, said before the fund posted earnings. “What’s more interesting is how this will be used politically, or even misused.”

GPIF’s performance was announced three weeks later than usual, sparking speculation Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was holding off on releasing bad news until after upper-house elections held earlier this month. Opposition lawmakers have been critical of Abe’s decision to increase riskier assets, with the Democratic Party of Japan pledging to return GPIF’s investments to safer assets in its election manifesto.

“We’ve repeatedly pointed out that it’s problematic to invest in stocks, which are high-risk, but the situation is turning into what we feared,” DPJ President Katsuya Okada said in a press conference on July 1. “It’s a grave problem that could lead to reductions in future pensions.”

Investors, however, say GPIF should stay the course.

“They took on more risk, and they posted good returns before, but there’s going to be times when they see losses,” said Koichi Kurose, Tokyo-based chief market strategist at Resona Bank Ltd. “It can’t be helped.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading
Comments

Investment

Nigeria’s Insecurity Issues Force Mexican Investors to Stall Investment Plans

The insecurity issues ravaging Nigeria have forced some Mexican investors to put a hold on their plans to invest in the country.

Published

on

investment

The insecurity issues ravaging Nigeria have forced some Mexican investors to put a hold on their plans to invest in the country.

This was disclosed by the Nigerian Ambassador to Mexico Hon. Adejare Bello.

He said that the Nigerian embassy frequently receives inquiries from investors about their plans to invest in the country and for possible collaboration.

With the abundance of natural resources in Nigeria, these investors have been looking to invest in areas such as gold mining, oil and gas, and agriculture, as well as partnering with Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote in the area of fertilizer procurement.

Unfortunately, these investors have stepped back on their plans due to the incessant attacks and insecurity challenges bedeviling the country.

In his words, “In the last decade, one of the critical challenges facing the Nigerian economy is the lack of adequate security of life and properties which has made the country lose so much in terms of foreign direct investment.

“The present situation in the country is very clear evidence of the impact of insecurity on the nation’s development in general and on the economy in particular.

“Lives are lost in the bombings, properties destroyed and businesses collapse as some businessmen who are not indigenes of the affected states leave and migrate to other states. Even the indigenes are taken to refugee camps leading to an increase in government expenditure”

Hon. Bello stated that the insecurity issues in the country have led to a slowdown of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which is worrisome, noting that it would be beneficial to the country due to its recent economic challenges.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to summon the political will necessary to ensure adequate internal security on a sustainable basis and create a friendly investment climate for inflows of foreign capital into the country.

Investors King understands that Nigeria’s insecurity challenges have not only slowed down investment inflow in the country, but it has also led to the exit of several multinational firms.

The country continues to miss out on so many opportunities of attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) due to escalating insecurity crisis.

Continue Reading

Investment

Ogun State Government Inaugurates Ogun Invest, Facilitates Agency

Ogun State Government on Friday inaugurated the Ogun State Investment and facilitation Agency, commonly referred to as the OGUNINVEST.

Published

on

Governor Abiodun of Ogun State

Ogun State Government on Friday inaugurated the Ogun State Investment and facilitation Agency, commonly referred to as the OGUNINVEST.

The inaugural ceremony was held at the Governor’s Office in Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.

The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun who led the inauguration said the newly inaugurated OGUNINVEST would promote the state and give access to both local and international investors.

The Governor, during the ceremony, said his administration had so far attracted nothing less than 36 investment portfolios that are worth over $1 billion.

He said that the investments altogether were able to generate over 40,000 jobs for the citizens of the state, and the facilitation agency would strengthen governance and diversification in Ogun state.

Abiodun disclosed that the primary focus of the agency is positioned on making the state an investment of choice, generating wealth for all in Ogun State citizens, and helping the private sectors grow.

He said, ” The facilitation agency is committed to attracting, facilitating, and nurturing investments into Ogun State.

“Our administration through Oguninvest Will continue to play the role of the enabler and facilitator to help the private sector grow, create jobs, and generate wealth for all in Ogun State.

“We have continued to reap a bountiful harvest from our commitment as existing investments are thriving and new investments are being attracted. As of today, we’ve been able to attract 36 new investments into Ogun State worth over a billion United States dollars and generated an estimation of over 40,000 jobs since the inception of OGUNINVEST.”

He disclosed that his administration has always been committed to the growth of the industrial sector in the state and that his administration would soon commence the construction of the Special Agro Processing Zone by November 2022.

The Governor included that a lot of tax reforms had been introduced under his administration, ensuring that multiple taxes were removed and his administration has also successfully made its payment process digital.

Continue Reading

Investment

Nigerian Investors Petitions Kenya Courts to Release Funds Held in Several Bank Accounts

2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

Published

on

Investment - Investors King

A petition has been made by more than 2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

These investors claim that they were duped billions of shillings by a sports betting platform (86FB) that used Nigerian and African Fintech company Flutterwave to process payments.

Citing Kenya’s anti-money laundering laws, these investors are demanding that the sum of $12 million is split from the Ksh 6.6 B ($55 M) that was frozen in July in 62 bank accounts at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Equity Bank, Ecobank, and UBA Bank, as well as in 19 Safaricom paybill numbers.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) was granted permission to freeze Ksh 5.17 B (USD 49 M) in 29 GTB accounts, with the remaining funds held in accounts at Equity and Ecobank in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds.

The large sums are alleged to be the proceeds of theft, credit card fraud, and money laundering that were wired under the guise of payments for goods and services.

One of the investors who identified himself as Morris Ebitimi Joseph claimed that he and other investors had filed a new lawsuit in Nigeria to seek the return of their funds.

They argued that a portion of the money belonged to them and have opposed the attempt to forfeit it to the Kenyan government which they claimed were fraudulent proceeds.

In his words, “I believe that the issuance of an order compelling Guaranty Trust Bank, Equity Bank, and Ecobank to deposit the sums excluded in the bank account of our advocates, justice shall be served to the 2,468 interested parties who were swindled of their hard-earned money through the scheme”.

Morris claimed that the investors put money into the investment scheme on the promise of better returns from the betting business, but however, never materialized.

Before the payments stopped, according to them, everything was fine for about six months. He also shared that after conducting research, he came to the conclusion that the operation was questionable, and now wants to join the case and help the court resolve the issue.

The Nigerian contingent is requesting the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), which declared in July that Flutterwave is not licensed in Kenya, to ask that the court issue an order directing Access Bank, Safaricom, and United Bank of Africa to deposit the excluded amount in the account of his attorneys.

“The claim made by the applicant/intended interested party represents the interest of 2,468 persons, thus occasioning monumental public interest.

Failure to expeditiously determine whether the application is in like fashion constitutes substantive and irreparable injustice,” Joseph says. He contends that there may be more people with an interest in the funds in addition to the 2,468 people who are requesting an injunction.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending