The value of assets held by the State-owned pension fund grew by Sh40 billion in the one year to June 2021, helped by higher valuations of blue-chip shareholdings and increased investments in government bonds.
Fresh data by the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) shows that the asset value of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) grew by 16.7 percent to Sh279.67 billion in the period.
The fund’s growth outpaced the overall pensions industry growth rate of 11.8 percent in total assets under management, which stood at Sh1.478 trillion at the end of June from Sh1.322 trillion in June 2020.
“The overall NSSF portfolio was heavily invested in government securities representing 55.12 percent of the total assets. This was followed by quoted equities and immovable property at 23.83 percent and 16.03 percent respectively,” said the RBA in its June 2021 pensions industry report.
In the period, the value of equities holdings rose by 41 percent to Sh66.7 billion, while that of bonds was up by 19 percent to Sh154.2 billion.
On the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the fund mainly invests in large blue-chip stocks comprising Safaricom, Equity Holdings, EABL, and KCB, whose solid fundamentals make them ideal for an investor with a longterm outlook like NSSF.
These stocks were among the top gainers between June 2020 and June 2021, backed by demand from institutional and foreign investors who were attracted by their stability at a time the stock market was hit by Covid-19 related headwinds.
Safaricom’s share gained 45 percent in the period, Equity was up 29 percent while KCB and EABL recorded gains of 17 percent and 11 percent respectively.