AMMAN - The Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF) is seeking strategic partnerships with private sector investors and developers that are interested in "thoroughly looking into" potential investment opportunities in the infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, tourism and real estate sectors, SSIF CEO Kholoud Saqqaf said on Wednesday at a discussion session hosted by the Jordan Strategy Forum (JSF).
According to an SSIF statement made available to The Jordan Times, Saqqaf highlighted that the session, titled “Social Security Investment Fund: Stimulating investment partnerships and achieving financial sustainability”, reflects the SSIF's commitment to partnering with peers from the private sector and discussing potential joint investments that enable the fund to augment the Social Security Corporation’s (SSC) assets.
According to 2019 preliminary financial statements, the SSIF’s total assets grew by 7.8 per cent at the end of 2019 to reach JD10.98 billion, compared to JD10.19 billion at the beginning of 2019, the statement said.
The fund's income also increased to reach JD 559 million at the end of 2019, compared to JD434 million at the end of 2018, constituting a 29 per cent growth due to increased dividends, returns on fixed income instruments, financial lease loans and real estate investments, the statement said.
Saqqaf also reviewed the fund’s major achievements during 2019, including expanding investments in real estate and strategic shareholding companies, financing several projects in the health, infrastructure and transportation sectors through financial lease and establishing three solar energy stations to provide electricity to hotels owned by the SSC, SSC branches and the SSIF headquarters, the statement said.
Throughout last year, the SSIF also started the renovation of the Crowne Plaza/Petra, which is expected to open in the middle of next year. The fund also revisited the management agreements with its five- and four-star hotels operator, InterContinental Hotels Group, and improved the contractual terms to ensure that these hotels become more competitive, provide better services and achieve better returns, read the statement.
Saqqaf emphasised that the fund, “as an anchor financial investor, serves as a long-term reliable partner for the private sector” in many sectors including banking, mining and industrial companies, energy, tourism and others.
Saqqaf pointed out that the fund, in partnership with the commercial banks company, has recently established a new company to invest in infrastructure projects that are proven to be feasible.
JSF Chairman Abdel Elah Al Khatib stated that this session reflects the forum’s efforts to promote partnership between the public and private sectors and induce an evidence-based dialogue to guide decision-makers and the private sector in promoting sustainable economic growth.
JSF CEO Ibrahim Saif highlighted the fund’s “vital role” in sustaining and developing the assets of the SSC, whose pensioners grew significantly during the last 20 years from around 366,330 in 2000 to 1.3 million pensioners at the end of 2019. The increase in the pensioners’ contributions was accompanied with an increase in the fund’s investments returns, the statement said.
The fund’s assets grew from JD 4.4 billion at the end of 2005 to reach JD 10.98 billion by the end of 2019, the statement said, adding that the fund heavily invests in treasury bonds that constitute 55.7 per cent of its total portfolio, while the rest is distributed over bank deposits, public shareholding companies and other investment instruments.
Saif also emphasised the importance of investing in feasible mega projects in the transport, energy, water and tourism sectors in addition to the public-private partnership projects — especially after the recent adoption of the new Public-Private Partnership Law — such as the Marka Airport Project, the Royal Medical University, Royal Medical Services Hospitals and others.
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