Jordan's SSIF assets reach $16bln in Q1 2021 - Saqqaf

The fund’s income also grew to reach $193mln in comparison with $157.9mln for the same period of 2020

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. High Angle View Of City Buildings During Sunset Photo Taken In Amman, Jordan.

Image used for illustrative purpose. High Angle View Of City Buildings During Sunset Photo Taken In Amman, Jordan.

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AMMAN — Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF ) CEO Kholoud Saqqaf said that the fund retained a good performance throughout the first quarter of 2021 as total assets kept growing to reach around JD11.4 billion, in comparison with JD11.2 million as at the end of 2020.

These assets were distributed over money market instruments that constituted 11.4 per cent of the total portfolio, bonds 58.7 per centt, loans 3.5 per cent, equity 14.7 per cent, real estate investments 6.4 per cent and tourism investments 2.6 per cent, according to a SSIF statement.

Saqqaf said that the fund’s income also grew to reach JD137 million in comparison with JD112 million for the same period of 2020, representing a growth of 22 per cent. This was attributed to the growth in the returns from bonds, money market instruments, loans, and the dividends streams from the companies in which SSIF invests.

The SSIF CEO pointed out that as one of the biggest institutional investors in the national economy, the fund has seized the investment opportunities in many vital sectors. Since beginning of the year, the fund increased its ownership on selective grounds in some strategic companies in the banking and pharmaceutical industries, given also the current decline in stock prices. Several companies in which SSIF invests have announced dividends distribution from beginning of the year, of which the fund's share was approximately JD32 million. Saqqaf added that the fund registered around JD74 million unrealised book profits in the as at the end of the first quarter.

The fund has also accomplished establishing three solar stations to provide power to the Social Security Corporation (SSC) hotels, SSIF and SSC headquarters and branches with a total capacity of 15 MW and a total cost of JD17 million, with a payback period of three years. This project will reduce SSC utility bill by JD5 million annually. The project also created 300 jobs for Jordanian engineers and workers throughout the construction phases.

To complement best practices in corporate governance, the fund issued an updated version of the corporate governance manual for the representatives on the companies’ boards of directors in which SSC invests. The manual outlines a comprehensive monitoring system that seeks to strengthen governance, improve financial performance and promote responsible business practices in these companies.

Saqqaf said that SSIF pursued many projects that were launched last year. Crowne Plaza Hotel/ Petra is still under renovation process and will be open to visitors at the end of this year. The hotel is expected to create 200 permanent jobs.

Daman Company for Investment and Agricultural Industries that the fund established last year will manage the SSIF’s first agricultural project, at a total cost of JD13 million in the southern region of the Kingdom on an area of 25,000 dunums to produce vegetables and animal feed (fodder). The project is expected to create 130 permanent jobs, she said.

According to Saqqaf, the National Infrastructure Investment Company that SSIF established last year in partnership with the Commercial Banking Company, is currently studying some mega-projects including public-private partnership projects.

The SSIF CEO said that the fund deeply believes that the best way to pursue good business is through cooperating with the private sector that is based on well-structured partnerships, with an appetite to consider major projects launched at a national level. “This will enable SSIF augment its assets. Furthermore, it , without a doubt, is the key engine for economy growth, and job creation and promote business environment. Saqqaf added that the fund follows that best international practices in disclosure as it publishes its financial reports quarterly on the fund’s website: www.ssif.gov

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