KWAP's Chief on Missing Out Abroad

CORPORATE INSIGHTS

KWAP's Chief on Missing Out Abroad

The Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) hasn’t been shy about its ambitions to broaden investments overseas, as assets’ returns from abroad continue to outstrip its local portfolio. CEO Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad speaks to AWANI Review's Cynthia Ng.

AS 2017 comes to an end, CEO Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad tells AWANI Review his reflections for the year and what he would have done differently as KWAP faces a growing public sector pension liability.

KWAP CEO Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad - Photo by Bernama

The second-largest pension fund in the nation has assets under management worth 125 billion ringgit, with only around 12 percent of its portfolio are invested overseas.

“We would had liked to invest more abroad because overseas investments has generated 9.58 percent returns compared to local at about 6.5 percent,” says Wan Kamaruzaman when asked what he would have done differently this year.

On many occasions, KWAP had expressed to desire to lift its overseas portion of its investment portfolio to as much as 15 percent, in hopes to boost returns as it faces the mammoth task to narrow the pension liability gap (growing its fund to take over the government’s RM300 billion-plus pension liabilities)

KWAP had already moved from traditional fixed income assets, which offer smaller returns, to riskier investments like real estate developments and more recently, tech investments such as Uber Technologies.

Nonetheless, opportunities are still scarce in the local tech scene while the FBM KLCI is set to end the year as the most underperforming stock market in the region.

Looking into 2018, real estate investments is an area he is still keeping a lookout for. He also tells us why Europe could be an exciting investment space next year.

'There's still a lot of positive sentiment in Europe despite Brexit' - Kamaruzaman

Source: KWAP Annual Report 2016

KWAP Annual Report 2016

KWAP Annual Report 2016

“This year was about stock selection and strategizing ourselves. We did hit our budget but did not exceed that significantly.”

“We do not want to take too much profit from our portfolio because it could result in us selling the good ones and keeping the bad ones. That is why we are quite satisfied with our (current) performance at about 5.5%.”

'We don't want to put too much stress on our portfolio' - Kamaruzaman

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