MANILA, July 15 The Philippines' biggest state
pension fund, absent from overseas markets the past two years,
may re-enter them next year with a $300 million-$400 million
investment given some signs the global economy is improving, its
president said on Monday.
"A time has come for us to reconsider and deploy a portion
of our assets externally, which would help dampen the volatility
in our portfolio," Robert Vergara, president of the Government
Service Insurance System (GSIS), told reporters.
"We are very careful about this... the earliest we will do,
if we do so, is 2014," Vergara said.
GSIS began making overseas investments in 2008 - before the
nadir of the global financial crisis - investing $600 million in
stocks and bonds in countries such as the United States, United
Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan and Australia.
The fund exited all its foreign placements in 2011 and
reinvested the money locally to take advantage of higher
yielding stocks and bonds.
Of as June 30, almost half of the fund's 730 billion pesos
($16.8 billion) in assets was invested in fixed income, while
the share of equity investments was 16 percent. The rest of the
portfolio was in loans to its members - comprised of government
employees - and in properties and cash.
The Philippine stock market has risen about 14
percent this year, making it the second best performer in
Southeast Asia after Vietnam.
($1 = 43.40 Philippine pesos)
(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Richard Borsuk)