AMMAN — Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF) CEO Kholoud Saqqaf said that the fund had achieved good returns at the end of June 2020 despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saqqaf announced that the SSIF’s total assets almost reached JD11 billion at the end of June 2020, according to a statement from the investment fund.
The SSIF’s income also reached JD251.2 million, compared with JD321.6 million at the end of June 2019.
This was mainly due to the delay in dividend distribution of some companies’ and other companies resolution to reduce the percentage of profits, read the statement.
The SSIF CEO pointed out that most of the income generated in the second quarter of 2020 came from interests on money market instruments, bonds, loans portfolios of JD230.6 million, marking a JD25.2 million increase when compared with the second quarter of 2019.
According to Saqqaf, the SSIF’s management strategy in various investments has helped mitigate the pandemic’s financial impact on the fund's portfolio.
It enabled the fund to provide the necessary liquidity to the Social Security Corporation (SSC) to finance the programmes announced under the defence orders that aim at enhancing job stability and private sector sustainability, noted the statement.
Based on its strategic directions, the SSIF expanded its real estate portfolio during the first-half of the year by purchasing properties at an estimated cost of JD48 million, which has increased the portfolio value to reach JD707.6 million at the end of June 2020, according to the statement.
To maximise the portfolio value, the SSIF is currently considering developing the lands owned by the SSC.
Despite the performance of Amman Stock Exchange, Saqqaf said that the SSIF made stock purchases in a number of public equity companies that are characterised by “solid” financial positions and stability in dividends streams, especially in the banking and manufacturing industries.
Reflecting the role of the fund as a long-term investor, these purchases are “not subject to speculations”, but are made based on the assessment of the companies’ performance, future projections, and the changes in stock price within the required rate of return and the mandated risk levels set in the fund’s investment policy, the statement said.
Moreover, the SSIF “seizes current opportunities” to acquire those shares at prices below their fair value.
Saqqaf announced that SSIF is at the final stages to establish an agricultural project in the south of the Kingdom that will be managed by a specialised company.
New tourism and leisure facilities are approved to establish in Aqaba by the National Tourism Company, wholly owned by the SSC, the statement said.
“It is our duty to properly manage and invest the money of the Social Security Corporation in accordance with international pension fund practices to preserve and sustain SSC assets,” Saqqaf said in the statement.
She also highlighted the vital role of the fund’s investments in the national economy’s growth, job creation and sustainable development.
The fund has enabled the SSC to expand the benefits provided to the pensioners and subscribers such as establishing the unemployment fund and granting JD85 million as personal loans for SSC pensioners, where beneficiaries exceeded 40,000 by the end of June 2020, concluded the statement.