Namibia: GIPF Tight-Lipped On Real COVID-19 Effect

Namibia's Government Institutions Pension Fund has to date not revealed what impact Covid-19 has had on investments, but has said diversified investments have kept the fund safe.

David Nuyoma, chief executive officer of the GIPF, last month said although Covid-19 has wrecked markets, the fund is still healthy enough to fulfil its obligations.

He said since the outbreak of Covid-19, entire markets, especially equity markets, have suffered massive losses, with some markets losing as much as 50% of their value.

Fortunately for the GIPF, and largely due to its robust investment philosophy and the diversified nature of its investments across various asset classes and markets, the impact was not as severe when compared to the market," Nuyoma said.

On equity markets, the fund's monthly performance on their South African equity portfolio were 3,5%, -16,2% and 13,39%, respectively for December 2019, March 2020 and April 2020, he said.

The Namibian equity portfolio returned 0,99%, -14,18% and 4,32% for the same months, he said, and the monthly performance on the Namibian bond portfolio for these months were 1,01%, -6,43% and 3,56%, respectively.

"The above demonstrates that diversification across asset classes and markets is an absolute necessity for effective portfolio management. It also clearly demonstrates that the last months were extremely volatile," Nuyoma said.

The GIPF had an assets value of N$118,1 billion in March last year, and no updated figure has been released by the fund yet.

Nuyoma said their monitoring of the pandemic's effect has shown the fund that markets where pension fund money is invested are, and continue to be volatile, and that unless investment actions are grounded in good investment principles, more losses could be incurred.

He said everyone should remain on guard as the pandemic is still evolving and global economic circumstances are far from ideal.

Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @Lasarus_A

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