EPF’s Q1 investment income up 57.6% to RM8.83b (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund recorded investment income of RM8.83bil in the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, up 57.6% from the RM5.60bil a year ago.

The more than 50% increase in investment performance was primarily driven by returns derived from equity investments, it said in a statement posted on its website on Monday.

The retirement fund said in Q1, 2014 the EPF's investment assets jumped 11.27%, an increase of RM60.47bil, to RM597.02bil from RM536.55bil a year ago.

The EPF said 52% of its funds were invested in secure and low risk fixed income instruments; 43% in equity investment and the balance in money market instruments, real estate and infrastructure.

“Total overseas exposure constituted 21.22% of total investment assets based on book value as at Q1 2014. Global investments remain an important source of diversification and returns for the EPF, and in the first quarter contributed about 27% of all income generated,” it said.         

EPF chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the EPF: "We remain focused on our objective to generate stable investment returns that consistently beat the rate of inflation.

“Based on the rapid growth in our investment assets, which average between 10% and 11% annually, we will continue to strategically diversify our long-term investment activities across different markets and sectors in accordance with our Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA).

"Depending on the market direction, we will continue to capitalise on opportunities that arise in order to rebalance our portfolios for risk and return optimisation," he said.

However, he cautioned that while Q1, 2014 performed better than last year “but may not be indicative of the full year performance for 2014”.

Shahril said economic and market situations play a major role in influencing investment performance.

He pointed out the EPF’s performance in Q1, 2013 was affected by uncertainties ahead of the General Election 2013 and the early stages of global economic recovery had impacted it ability to achieve higher returns at that time.

In Q1, 2014, equities emerged as the biggest contributor and generated investment income of RM4.84bil compared with RM1.86bil in Q1 2013.

"Earnings on equities depend on market situations and in Q1 2014, the high trading volumes and liquidity in the equity markets, particularly global developed markets, provided us with a timely opportunity to realise gains from earlier equity investments. In addition, we also benefited from the steady stream of dividends received from the listed companies we invested in," Shahril added.

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