AS a result of high risks associated to members’ funds, the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) is eyeing various risk mitigating factors one of which is setting up an investment bank.
Chairman of SINPF Baoro Laxton Koraua revealed this when he outlined investment plans of NPF yesterday during the announcement of this year’s interest to members.
“The board is seriously evaluating the possibility of opening an investment bank, partly in answer to our member’s needs to borrow money for various reasons, whether it is for their new home, investment, lifestyle improvement, etc.
“We have been carrying out feasibility studies on this for nearly two years and are of the firm belief that there is a market need for such an investment,” Mr Koraua said.
He said another plan in the pipeline is to set up a Mini-Capital Market (stock market).
“Again, we have carried out studies on this proposal and firmly believe that now is the time to start such a market.
“In fact this is a very important risk strategy for NPF whereby we can offer parts of our successful companies on this market, to Solomon Islanders with money.
“The NPF board, through the management, have been talking with the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance on this proposal, as the establishment of such institution is clearly not an NPF mandate, but rather the Central Bank and Ministry of Finance.
“However, we are very keen to facilitate its inception and provide some of our more successful investments as prime candidates for the initial startup.
He said the board continues to explore other opportunities including regional cooperation with other regional provident funds on joint projects regionally.
Meanwhile new investments made this year by the fund include the completion of the Hibiscus Apartments, now fully tenanted, which the board believes is the pride of Honiara city; construction of the Food Court currently in progress (nearing completion);increase in Kina investments; joint lending to SIEA with WBC to assist SIEA acquire their generators; completion of twelve residential houses in Tulagi to be rented to Sasape International Shipyard Limited; and opening of new Australian dollar fixed term deposits with ANZ Brisbane Branch, in Australia.
The chairman added that the investments decisions made on these new undertakings are guided by the Fund’s risk return strategies and guidelines that foremost must enable the board to achieve its investment objective, which includes delivering positive returns to members; membership term and protect the value of contributions against inflation.
By EDNAL PALMER