SSS sees investment income hitting P60-B with infra foray

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STATE-RUN  Social Security System (SSS) expects investment income to reach P60 billion, in three years, or double the PHP30 billion last year, following its participation in the infrastructure sector with the purchase of minority stake in diversified and infrastructure conglomerate Megawide Construction Corp.

During the commemoration rites for the share sale Friday, SSS said it acquired 7.17-percent stake in Megawide equivalent to 110.53 million shares for P2.001 billion.

SSS Chairman Amado Valdez, in an interview, said the pension fund recorded an investment income of P30 billion in 2017 with a return of investments of only 7 percent. It has investments in equities.

Valdez expects return of investments to increase to 15 to 17 percent or up to PHP60 billion in three years with its entry into the infrastructure sector given the government’s focus on “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

“Our entry into Megawide is highly strategic,” he said. “We see investments in the infrastructure sector as viable, given the level of funding being poured by the public and private sectors into the infrastructure drive and the volume of projects across the country.”

Listed Megawide is among the country’s leading contractors for residential, commercial, hotel and mixed-use projects. It has assets in construction, airport and property development.

“It is encouraging that the SSS, the country’s biggest pension fund, is willing to invest in Megawide. It is an outstanding vote of confidence in the country’s vision, and we are motivated to work even harder so that we can deliver positive returns for all our stakeholders,” said Megawide Chairman Edgar Saavedra.

Meanwhile, the SSS and Megawide are partnering to bid for a contract to rehabilitate and operate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“You don’t put (people’s) money just in paper asset. You can put them in stones, bridges which are beneficial,” Valdez said. “We will make the pension fund rich.”

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